Investigators are working to confirm whether four Vietnam Airlines flight attendants were aware they were carrying drugs from France to Vietnam.
Police have searched the attendants’ residencies and have also collected testimony from the accused as well as others surrounding the crime.
A total of 11.4 kilograms of drugs were found in the carry-on luggage of the four women in question: chief flight attendant Nguyen Thanh Thuy, 37, and three attendants Vo Tu Quynh, Tran Thi Thu Ngan and Dang Phuong Van.
The attendants told police that they had agreed to bring a package of toothpaste tubes weighing 60 kilograms in total on the request of a person in France made via another Vietnam Airlines employee.
Police said they have questioned that employee, who has provided text messages with the person in France.
Investigators have concluded thus far that the four attendants were paid VND10 million (US$422) to bring the goods back to Vietnam in their hand luggage on flight VN10 from Paris to Ho Chi Minh City. All four worked that flight as employees of the airline.
Police said that one of the four attendants had allegedly agreed to manage the deal and had divided the toothpaste tubes into four packages. Investigators are currently verifying this information.
The four attendants were detained shortly after they touched down in HCMC on the morning of March 17.
While screening their luggage, customs officials detected “abnormal signs,” so they had the luggage inspected.
Inside, they found toothpaste tubes containing ecstasy, ketamine and cocaine.
When questioned by police, all four attendants appeared to be shocked, investigators said.
They said that after receiving the packages in France, they were all “exhausted” after a long flight, and did not check the contents carefully.
They also said the package got through customs in France without any problems and only when arriving in Vietnam did they learn what they had really carried.
A senior official at the Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department told VnExpress that finding the drugs was “no coincidence.”
“The customs officers relied on intelligence sources to bust the case,” said the official who requested anonymity.
Police have yet to find any evidence of criminal activity at the residences of the four attendants, who are still in detention.
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