Monday, February 18 2019

VietNamNews

Vietnamese woman arrested in Paris on drug charges pleads not guilty

Update: January, 23/2019 - 15:50
Police in Paris’ Charles de Gaulle International Airport where Mai was arrested. –VNA/VNS Photo
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — A Vietnamese woman named Phạm Thị Tuyết Mai was arrested in Charles de Gaulle International Airport in Paris, France last month, according to the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry.

The Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that the Vietnamese Embassy in Paris had been informed of the arrest by the French Border Police on December 18, 2018.

According to the ministry, Mai’s arrest under the European arrest warrant (EAW) was related to French authorities’s decision to impose a four-year prison verdict for the crime of illicit drug and narcotics trafficking in the period from October 1, 2010 to May 10, 2011, issued by the Antwerp Judicial Court in Belgium on May 8, 2013.

On December 19, 2018, the Paris Appeal Court offered bail on the condition that Mai remained in a designated place, stay in French territory, surrender all personal documents and return to court when called.

Representatives of the Vietnamese Embassy in France met Mai to clarify her case and instructed her on how to get legal support from Vietnamese agencies.

The embassy also said the Vatier Law Firm in Paris would deal with Mai’s case.

At Mai’s request, the embassy had asked Việt Nam’s Immigration Department and Consulate to verify the duration of her residency in Việt Nam, which would be used as evidence for the court.

The Vietnamese Embassy’s representatives were present at the second session of the court on January 9, 2019 and asked Mai’s court-designated lawyer to support her legal rights and interests.

The Foreign Ministry asked the embassy in France to continue to closely monitor the case, keep relevant authorities updated and promptly take measures to support and protect the Vietnamese citizen.

Previously, online newspapers had published a story posted on a Facebook account supposedly belonging to Mai that described her 33 days in custody after arriving in Paris for a European vacation with her boyfriend.

In the post, Mai said she had been arrested on accusations of illegal drug trafficking in Belgium, where she claims to have never even visited.

Mai said the arrest was a mistake. — VNS

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