50 arrested after drugs found in Vietnam Airlines attendants' luggage

By Kien Tuong   April 25, 2023 | 02:04 am PT
50 arrested after drugs found in Vietnam Airlines attendants' luggage
Toothpaste tubes with drugs hidden inside found in the luggage of four Vietnam Airlines flight attendants flying from Paris to HCMC, March 16, 2023. Photo by HCMC Customs
Around 50 have been detained as police probe the case of four Vietnam Airlines flight attendants caught transporting over 11 kg of drugs from Paris to HCMC.

"These people are related to leads that delivered and received drugs smuggling into Vietnam from abroad," a source close to the case told VnExpress Tuesday.

They are now being investigated for "illegal trading and transport of narcotics."

On March 16, a security inspection at Tan Son Nhat Airport in Ho Chi Minh City found hundreds of toothpaste tubes containing 11.4 kg of drugs, including ecstasy, ketamine, and cocaine, hidden within the carry-on luggage of four female attendants of Vietnam Airlines.

The attendants were promptly arrested after their shift aboard flight VN10 from France to Vietnam.

They told the police they had agreed to transport 60 kg of toothpaste tubes on the request of a person in France made via another Vietnam Airlines employee.

The four attendants said they were paid VND10 million (US$422) to bring the tubes into Vietnam.

All four denied knowing what was inside the containers.

On March 22, they were released on bail after investigators confirmed that the attendants did not know that about half of the 327 toothpaste tubes they carried contained drugs.

Vietnam is a key trafficking hub for narcotics despite having some of the world's toughest drug laws.

Those convicted of possessing or smuggling more than 600 grams of heroin or more than 2.5 kg of meth 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.

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