|Drugs hidden in toothpaste tubes were found by customs officers at Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport. Photo vietnamplus.vn|
HÀ NỘI — At least 50 people have been arrested in connection with the Vietnam Airlines drug smuggling case.
They are being questioned in relation to the earlier arrests of four Vietnam Airlines flight attendants stopped by authorities allegedly in possession of 11.4kg of illegal drugs.
The flight attendants have since been released on bail.
All of the new arrests are accused of being involved in the trafficking and cross-border transportation of drugs.
The police say they are expanding their investigation into many other individuals.
On March 16, customs officers at Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport in HCM City searched the luggage of four Vietnam Airlines flight attendants – Trần Thị Thu Ngân, Võ Tú Quỳnh, Nguyễn Thanh Thuỷ, and Đặng Phương Vân – finding 157 toothpaste tubes containing a total of 11.284kg of ketamine and MDMA.
The accused claimed that in France, a Vietnamese national contacted them and asked them to carry the toothpaste to a relative in Việt Nam, paying them about VNĐ10 million (US$425) in remuneration.
The four attendants say that they were not aware the items contained narcotics.
Anyone convicted of trafficking over 100g of synthetic drugs faces the death sentence in Việt Nam. — VNS