Australian citizen Nguyen Thi Huong, 73, has reportedly been sentenced to death in Vietnam for trafficking heroin hidden in bars of soap.
The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Court found the woman guilty on Thursday. She was arrested in December 2014 trying to board a flight to Australia.
Huong was allegedly carrying heroin hidden inside 36 bars of soap in her luggage. Media reports vary on the exact quantity of heroin — between 1 and 3 kilograms.
The AAP newswire attempted to contact court officials and Australian diplomats in Ho Chi Minh City for comment without success.
Huong argued she was given the soap as a gift by a woman named Helen and did not know their illegal contents, according to local media.
The Ho Chi Minh City Police newspaper, controlled by the city’s police, reported that Huong failed to prove the existence of ‘Helen’.
The court ruled that the offence was “extremely dangerous to the community” and found her guilty.
She has 15 days to appeal before being killed by lethal injection.
The death penalty is applied in communist Vietnam in cases of trafficking of 100 grams of heroin or more.
In late 2013, Vietnam adopted the use of lethal injections for capital cases instead of firing squads.
– with ABC and AAP