Vietnam sentences ex-drug trafficker to life for smuggling meth

By Le Nga, Thanh Nien News

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Le Thi Chau Hang, 32, at a Ho Chi Minh City trial June 16 when she received a life sentence for smuggling 2 kilograms of China to the Philippines. Photo: Le Nga Le Thi Chau Hang, 32, at a Ho Chi Minh City trial June 16 when she received a life sentence for smuggling 2 kilograms of China to the Philippines. Photo: Le Nga

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A Ho Chi Minh City court sentenced a former drug trafficker to life imprisonment on Monday for attempting to smuggle nearly two kilograms of meth from China to the Philippines.
Le Thi Chau Hang, 32, was arrested at the city’s Tan Son Nhat International Airport last November after customs officials found 1.9 kilograms of methamphetamine in her suitcase.
The then-cafeteria worker at a District 8 bus station was hired by a customer named Chi to fetch the meth from Guangzhou, the capital of China's Guangdong province, and bring it to the Philippines.
Getting paid US$1,000 besides money for meals and travel, she flew to Guangzhou and received the suitcase from an African man plus 200 yuan ($32) for her ticket home.
Customs officials in the Philippines did not let her board her flight as she lacked a visa.
She flew back to Xiamen city on China’s southeast coast but was not given a pass either, so she flew to Hong Kong to come back to Vietnam.
Hang had been sentenced to eight years in jail in 2006 for trading in illegal drugs, but she was released early in late 2011.
Vietnam’s Penal Code says those convicted of possessing/smuggling 100 grams of heroin or cocaine or 300 grams of other drugs face capital punishment, making the country among the toughest regarding drug laws.

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