The Vietnamese Narcotics Police Department on September 20 asked prosecutors to press charges against Diep Ngoc Tu, a 40-year-old Vietnamese woman, for joining an Africa-led drug smuggling ring.
On May 14, security officers at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City found around 400 grams of heroin in the soles of the sandals Tu was wearing.
Tu was about to board a flight to Hanoi when the officers decided to check her sandals.
Tu later told police she had brought the heroin from Cambodia to HCMC and planned to bring it to Hanoi before taking a bus to Lang Son Province to enter China.
She said she was hired by another Vietnamese woman to transport drugs from other countries to China via Vietnam as part of a ring led by African men operating in Southeast Asia.
Tu said she had made three successful trips before she brought drugs from Cambodia and Malaysia to Vietnam and later to China.
She said she was paid US$800-1,000 for each successful trip.
Vietnam has some of the world's toughest drug laws. Those convicted of smuggling more than 600 grams of heroin are punishable by death.