Vietnam court sentences Chinese meth smuggler to life

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Zhou Bing Xue, 23, is escorted to her cell in Ho Chi Minh City November 13 after receiving a life sentence for smuggling 2 kilos of meth into Vietnam. Photo courtesy of Tuoi Tre

A Ho Chi Minh City court sentenced a Chinese girl to life for smuggling meth Wednesday.

Zhou Bing Xue, 23, was arrested at Tan Son Nhat airport in October last year with nearly two kilograms of methamphetamine in her luggage after a flight from Bangladesh, Tuoi Tre Youth) newspaper reported.

The indictment said Zhou met with an African man only known as Hanny through the Internet in 2011 when she was in college and she was hired as part of his cross-border transport team.

She finished one mission in May last year by picking up a suitcase in Hanoi, bringing it back to China for a payment of 3,500 Yuan (US$575) plus air tickets.

Zhou was supposed to deliver the Bangladeshi suitcase to a Vietnamese woman for 4,000 Yuan payment but she was arrested.

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.

On August 20, a 31-year-old Thai woman was sentenced to death after a Ho Chi Minh City court found her guilty of smuggling nearly two kilograms of cocaine from Brazil to Vietnam last October.

A day earlier, the HCMC court also sentenced Ejiogu Benjamin Ikechukwu, 31, a Nigerian man, to death for smuggling more than 3.4 kilograms of methamphetamine from Qatar into Vietnam in June last year.

Last October, Vietnam sentenced a 61-year-old Filipina to death after she was caught smuggling five kilograms (11 pounds) of methamphetamine into the country.

In June 2012, a Ho Chi Minh City court handed down the death penalty to a 23-year-old female student from Thailand for trafficking three kilograms of methamphetamine from Benin to Vietnam.

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