Vietnam sentences Thai to death for drug smuggling

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Associated Press

Posted on August 20, 2013 at 9:36 PM

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — A court in southern Vietnam sentenced a Thai woman to death for trafficking 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) of cocaine into the country, state media reported Wednesday.

The People's Court in Ho Chi Minh City convicted and sentenced 31-year-old Chaimongkol Suracha at a one-day trial Tuesday, the Thanh Nien newspaper said.

Vietnamese authorities found the cocaine hidden in two photo albums in Chaimongkol's luggage when she arrived at Tan Son Nhat airport on Oct 1, 2012, it said.

She told the court that she was duped into trafficking the drug, but the judges said she had to be responsible for the crime.

On Monday, a court in Ho Chi Minh City also sentenced a Nigerian to death for drug trafficking.

Vietnam has some of the world's toughest drug laws, and possessing or trafficking 1.3 pound of heroin or cocaine is punishable by death. About 100 people are sentenced to face lethal injection for drug crimes each year.

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