Vietnam sentences Philippines woman to life for drug smuggling

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A court in Ho Chi Minh City has sentenced a Philippine woman to life in prison for smuggling 2.1 kilograms of methamphetamine into Vietnam.

Erlinda Bertuflo Libron, 67, was caught at HCMC's Tan Son Nhat International Airport on June 28 last year with the drugs in her luggage upon arriving on a flight from Morocco, Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reported.

Libron said at the trial that she had flown from Malaysia to Morocco on June 6, and was hired two days later by Amahid, a woman she was only vaguely acquainted with, to bring the suitcase to Vietnam to deliver to a third party.

She said she accepted Amahid's offer as she was in need of money and the payment was more than US$1,000, excluding airfare and $50 for spending on the way.

She was promised between $1,000 and $2,000 to make similar deliveries later.

The woman said the payment caused her to suspect that the suitcase contained drugs, but she did not know how much.

Vietnam has some of the world's toughest drug laws. Those convicted of trafficking 500 kilograms of heroin or 600 kilograms of methamphetamine face the death penalty.

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