Police in Hanoi have arrested a 27-year-old Indonesian woman for allegedly smuggling nearly five kilograms of heroin into Vietnam by hiding the contraband in the cover of comic books.
Triwening Puju Astuli is being detained for four months pending further probes into her drug smuggling allegations, Dan Viet newspaper reported Saturday.
According to investigators, Hoan Kiem District police on September 12 raided a hotel and found the drug being hidden in the covers of six comic books, titled Winnie the Pooh and Best Friends.
Police said the drug weighs 4.929 kilograms in total.
During questioning, Astuli confessed that an African man named Staenly, who only contacted her by phone and internet, had hired her to smuggle the drug into Vietnam.
On August 28, Astuli took a flight from Indonesia to Malaysia to meet two African men and receive a suitcase with clothes and comic books inside.
However, after jetting in Vietnam on August 31, Astuli said no one touched base with her to deliver the drug.
She also admitted that Staenly had hired her to smuggle drug to China three times. Before each trip, the man gave her a sim card of the destination country.
Astuli was paid $250 per such trip.
Lieutenant Chu Thi Hoa of the Hoan Kiem police force said that it was the first time they busted such a large amount of drugs hidden in a book cover, which was covered in a tin foil layer to foil airport detection.
Further investigations would be underway, police said.
Vietnam has some of the world's toughest drug laws. Those convicted of smuggling more than 600 grams of heroin or more than 2.5 kilograms of methamphetamine face the death penalty.
The production or sale of 100 grams of heroin or 300 grams of other illegal narcotics is also punishable by death.