HANOI – A court in southern Vietnam has sentenced 73-year-old Nguyen Thi Huong a Vietnamese-born Australian woman to death for trafficking heroin.
The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Court found Nguyen Thi Huong guilty on Wednesday of possessing 36 bars of soap stuffed with 2.8kg of heroin in her baggage as she was boarding a flight to Australia in December 2014, the Thanh Nien News said.
Court officials and Australian diplomats in the city could not be reached for comment about the case.
Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it was “concerned that an Australian citizen has been sentenced to death in Vietnam” but added that under Vietnamese law the woman can appeal the sentence “so there is still some way to go before this legal process concludes”.
“We will continue to provide consular assistance and support to the woman and her family. Universal opposition to capital punishment is a long-established policy of Australian governments,” a department spokesperson said in an email.
The court ruled that the offence was “extremely dangerous to the community” and found her guilty. She now faces death by lethal injection.