73-year-old woman faces death penalty for drug smuggling

By Hai Duyen   June 29, 2016 | 09:37 pm PT
A 73-year-old Australian-Vietnamese woman has been sentenced to death for attempting to smuggle VND10 billion ($450,000) worth of drugs to Australia from Thailand through Vietnam.

On June 29, Ho Chi Minh City's Supreme’s People Court sentenced Nguyen Thi Huong to death for illegal drug trafficking. Despite being old and showing remorse with a clean background, the volume of drugs was too huge to be taken lightly.


Nguyen Thi Huong in court. Photo by VnExpress/H.D.

According to official reports, Huong traveled to Vietnam to visit her family in November 2014. She met a Thai woman named Helen on the beach where she was given 36 bars of soap packed in paper. She returned to her hotel and hid the soap bars in her luggage to take back to Australia.

On December 20, 2014, during her departure procedures, customs officials found more than 2.8 kilograms of drugs in the soap bars, worth around VND10 billion.

According to Article 194 of Vietnam's Criminal Code, trafficking more than 600 grams of solid drugs is punishable by death.

During the investigation and court hearing, Huong said she did not know there were drugs in the soap bars but admitted that she packed the luggage herself. That was the basis on which the judges decided the verdict.

go to top