VIETNAM - Police at Tan Son Nhat Airport in Ho Chi Minh City have detained a Cambodian woman for bringing 5.2 kg of drugs from Benin, a West African country, to Vietnam, where she would have taken a road trip to Cambodia.
35-year-old Hom Kosal was caught hiding an amount of white powder in her suitcase when she arrived at the airport last Saturday on flight QR608 from Qatar, where she transited after departing from Benin.
The powder was immediately sent to the Criminal Technical Institute for testing and the results showed that it was methamphetamine, a kind of synthetic drug, police said.
Kosal told police that she was hired by a man to bring the drugs from Benin with transit in Vietnam, for US$2,000 (S$2,483).
Kosal had gone from Cambodia to Thailand by road and then flew from Thailand to Benin. On April 21, after receiving the drugs, the woman flew from Benin to Vietnam, with a layover in Qatar, a Middle Eastern country.
Kosal intended to bring the drugs from Vietnam to Cambodia by road.
The police are continuing with their investigation.
In related news, on April 17, the airport police also arrested Nguyen Thi Lanh, 43, a resident in HCMC's Hoc Mon District, for carrying 2.6 kg of synthetic drug from Kenya to Vietnam.
On April 9 Ho Chi Minh City People's Court issued a capital sentence to a 30-year-old local woman, Le Thi Thu Thao, for drug trafficking. She was the leader of an 11-member ring that trafficked drugs from Cambodia to Vietnam.
Thao's two accomplices, Tran Ngoc Thinh, 35, Thao's de facto husband; and Pham Thi Hien, 49, were sentenced to life in prison.
The eight other accomplices received sentences from four years in prison to life.
The ring began operating in 2010 when Hien bought drugs, ecstasy, synthetic drugs and heroin in Cambodia and sent them to Vietnam for Thao to sell.
Late last month, customs officers at Tan Son Nhat Airport seized 5.9 kg of drugs hidden in a suitcase by a Vietnamese person who was about to fly to Australia.
The drug carrier, identified as H.T., has been detained for investigation.
The drugs were found while T. was carrying out procedures to board flight VN773 from HCMC to Sydney on the night of March 31.