The police have arrested a woman who was doing the paperwork at Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat Airport to receive a consignment of statues from Brazil with a large amount of cocaine hidden inside them.
They said she was a 48-year-old Vietnamese but did not disclose her identity.
According to customs, the hundreds of small statues of birds were imported as gifts, but officials found nearly 2kg of cocaine hidden inside four hollow ones. It was unclear how they detected the drugs.
“They [the four statues] were in a steel container with hundreds of other statues,” an unnamed customs official told the media. “The drug’s market value is more than VND5 billion (US$226,000).”
The police are looking for other suspects in the case.
Under Vietnamese law, a person convicted of smuggling 100 grams of heroin or cocaine or 300 grams of other drugs can be sentenced to death.
Bird figurines sent from Brazil with drugs inside four of them.