Vietnamese police have arrested three people for smuggling cannabis from Laos to Hanoi, including a woman who underwent facial cosmetic surgery to avoid an arrest warrant on drug trafficking charges.
The woman, 40-year-old Phan Thi Chin, was arrested on February 14 while receiving 32 kilograms of cannabis from Nguyen Van Hung, 46.
Police in the central province of Nghe An also seized a car and an electronic scale meant for weighing the drug.
Subsequent investigation led to the arrest of Nguyen Van Minh, 26.
Cannabis is still considered an illegal drug in Vietnam, as in many other countries.
Investigators said the trio intended to smuggle the drug from Laos to Nghe An before transporting it to Hanoi.
Preliminary investigation found Chin faced an arrest warrant issued by Nghe An police for drug smuggling charges several years ago, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported.
She had changed her face and used a fake ID to avoid police detection, investigators said.
Police are expanding investigation into the case.
In Vietnam, drug-related crimes are among the most aggressively prosecuted cases.
Those convicted of trafficking more than 600 grams of heroin or more than 2.5 kilograms of methamphetamine are punishable by death.
Producing or selling 100 grams of heroin or 300 grams of other illegal narcotics is also a death penalty crime.