Saturday, 19 July 2008

Australians jailed for heroin trafficking

A court in southern Vietnam has sentenced an Australian woman of Vietnamese origin to life in jail for trafficking heroin, and her husband, who is also of Vietnamese descent, to a 20-year jail term on the same charge.

Hoang Le Thuy, 42, and her husband Nguyen Van Huy, 39, stood trial on Friday in the Ho Chi Minh City People's Court, which found both guilty of buying and selling drugs illegally, the Liberation Saigon daily cited the verdict as saying.

The couple was detained in July 2006 while preparing to fly from Ho Chi Minh City to Australia after police and customs found 447 grams of heroin in their baggage, the daily said.

They bought the heroin in Vietnam for $20,000 during a visit in June 2006, it quoted prosecutors as saying in a report.

Trafficking in more than 600 grams of heroin is punishable in Vietnam by firing squad or life imprisonment.

Several Australians of Vietnamese descent have been arrested for trafficking heroin to Australia from Vietnam in recent years.

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