Some of the cocaine pills taken from the man's stomach. — Photo courtesy of Tân Sơn Nhất Airport Customs.
HCM CITY — A Senegalese man was arrested at Tân Sơn Nhất Airport for attempting to smuggle nearly 1.6kg of cocaine hidden inside his stomach.
Airport customs authorities announced on Monday that the 39-year-old Senegalese national flew from Nigeria to Ethiopia and then Thailand before he was finally stopped in Việt Nam at the international airport in HCM City.
Customs officers requested a body screening after the man passed the immigration gateway, but he ardently refused.
The man was taken by force to a scanner, where the officers detected something unusual inside his stomach.
He was taken to 175 Military Hospital, where doctors later managed to retrieve 77 pills – each of which was of 1cm in diametre and 5cm long – out of his body. The contents of the pills tested positive for cocaine, weighing nearly 1.6kg in total.
Customs said that amount of cocaine was worth about VNĐ10 billion (US$434,700) on the black market.
Viet Nam is one of the strictest countries on drug trafficking as one can face death penalty if found to have smuggled at least 100mg of cocaine. — VNS