|HCM City's customs officials seize toothpaste tubes containing drugs on March 16. Photo courtesy of HCM City's Customs|
HÀ NỘI — A search by HCM City police of the homes of four Vietnam Airlines flight attendants arrested for allegedly smuggling 11.3kg of drugs from France to Việt Nam found no additional contraband.
The attendants, who were identified as Trần Thị Thu Ngân, Đặng Phương Vân, Nguyễn Thanh Thủy and Võ Tú Quỳnh, earlier admitted to accepting more than VNĐ10 million (US$424) to carry the goods by an unidentified individual in France.
At the police station, the cabin crew admitted they had agreed to carry a shipment of toothpaste tubes weighing tens of kilogrammes to HCM City’s Tân Sơn Nhất Airport from a contact of a colleague who worked at the same airline.
The role of Trần Thị Thu Ngân in the incident was reportedly important.
The flight attendants exchanged numerous messages with those involved. The police also interviewed a person suspected of acting as a broker.
The four flight attendants were arrested on March 16 after customs officers in HCM City found more than 11kg of drugs stored in toothpaste tubes they were carrying in their baggage.
They were crew members on a VN10 flight from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport in France to Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport in HCM City.
Customs officials, in coordination with the city police, found 2.18kg of ecstasy and 1kg of meth in Thủy and Quỳnh’s luggage, 780g of ecstasy in Ngân’s luggage and more than 2kg of ecstasy and 2kg of meth in Vân’s luggage.
All the drugs were hidden in toothpaste tubes.
Police said the women appeared shocked when the drugs were found.
The case has been handed over to the HCM City Police’s Drug Crime Investigation Division for further investigation.
Anti-smuggling task force established
Minister of Finance Hồ Đức Phớc, Standing Deputy Head of the National Steering Committee on Anti-smuggling, Counterfeit Goods and Trade Fraud, has signed the decision to set up a task force responsible for receiving and handling information on smuggling, commercial fraud, and illegal transportation of goods through international airports.
The task force, led by the Chief Secretariat of the National Steering Committee on Anti-smuggling, Counterfeit Goods and Trade Fraud Lê Thanh Hải, has been assigned to coordinate with units and forces in handling violation cases.
They will coordinate with the local press to publicise cases of smuggling, trade fraud, and illegal transportation of goods through international airports. — VNS