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Updated: November 10, 2012 12:27 IST

Vietnamese woman gets 10 years RI for possessing drug

Staff Reporter
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Phan Thi Tuyut Phoung.
Phan Thi Tuyut Phoung.

She was found carrying contraband at airport

A Vietnamese woman on Friday was sentenced to 10 years’ rigorous imprisonment for possessing heroin, the contraband concealed in her suitcase in 2008. She was nabbed when she was about to board the Thai Airlines at the Chennai International Airport.

Pronouncing the judgement in this case, V.Ramamurthy, Principal Special Judge for cases under Narcotic Drug and Psychotropic Substance Act (NDPS), said, “In this case, the evidence and documents produced proves that she had been used as a carrier and she had no intention to export or transport the contraband. The prosecution in this case proved the possession alone as such the accused cannot be punished for other acts.”

The Judge also imposed of Rs.1 lakh as fine on her. In default to pay the fine, she has to undergo further period of four months’ rigorous imprisonment. The period already undergone by her was set off.

Pham Thi Tuyet Phoung (40), the Vietnamese national, was nabbed the Customs at Chennai International Airport on September 4, 2008. When she was about to board the Thai Airlines bound to Bangkok on her way to Hanoi, she was intercepted and a thorough search was made on her baggage.

The Customs seized the contraband Diacetyl Morphine (Heroin) which kept concealed in her suitcase. She was arrested and charged under the provisions of Narcotic Substances Act.

She stated that the goods recovered from the false bottom of the suitcase did not belong to her. A person by name Maxt gave her the suitcase at a tourist home in New Delhi. She agreed to carry and deliver to another person in Hanoi, who would identify her. For this job, she was promised US $ 1,000 and a free air ticket. So she said she was tempted with the offer and hence she agreed to carry the narcotic substance.

The case against her was carried out with the assistance of an interpreter, who translated the English version into Chinese.

When the she was questioned on the quantum of sentence to be imposed on her, she submitted that she was a divorcee. She had two sons, one of whom was differently abled. There was no one support to her. This was why she prayed the court to show leniency.

Mr.Ramamurthy said: “She had been lured by offering $1,000 and free flight ticket from Delhi and Hanoi. She did not get the amount offered to her as she was apprehended before boarding the flight to Bankgok. Hence, this court has decided that the minimum sentence prescribed under the provision is sufficient.”

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