Customs officers at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City on Sunday caught an elderly Vietnamese-Australian woman carrying heroin camouflaged as 36 pieces of soap in her luggage.
These bars of “soap” were discovered in the checked luggage of H.T.N, 71, when she was carrying out procedures to leave Vietnam for Sydney yesterday.
Each bar of “soap” was packed in a paper box with the brand name Shinzu’I on it.
Tests on samples of the soap confirmed they are actually heroin, customs officer said.
The total value of the heroin is estimated at VND10 billion (US$467,800).
The woman and the heroin were handed over to the city’s anti-drug police for investigation.
The woman could be considered the oldest drug trafficker who has been detected at the airport so far.
This is the third drug trafficking case that has been discovered at the airport within the past ten days. The airport’s customs force has seized a total of more than 6 kg of illicit substances in the three cases.
The second case occurred a week ago, when customs officers discovered nearly 380 grams of heroin hidden on the body of a Vietnamese-Australian woman, T.K.H., 37.
The woman was detained after three bags of heroin were discovered on her body and two small packs of the substance were found in her anus when she was carrying out procedures to leave Vietnam at the airport on December 8.
The heroin weighed 379.69 grams in total and its value was estimated at more than VND1.1 billion (US$51,700).
For their good performance in anti-drug trafficking actions, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has given customs officers at the airport a Letter of Merit while the head of the General Department of Customs, Nguyen Ngoc Tuc, has sent them letter of congratulations and given them a cash reward.