Death penalty for Thai Student for smuggling drugs into Vietnam

The People’s Court in Ho Chi Minh City has issued the death sentence on a 24-year-old female Thai student for illegally transporting large amounts of drugs into Vietnam.

According to the indictment, Preeyanooch Phuttharaksa, a university student in Thailand, was part of an international drug trafficking ring run by some African nationals.

In early October last year, Phuttharaksa was paid by a person called Jom to carry a suitcase containing more than three kilograms of drugs on a flight from Doha (Qatar) to Vietnam.

On October 29, 2011, customs officials at Tan Son Nhat International Airport detected the drugs hidden in her luggage.

Later Phuttharaksa admitted that she had on earlier occasions also successfully transported two drug suitcases for Jom for a sum of US$430 per trip.
In June this year, the HCMC People’s Court opened her trial and issued the death penalty for Preeyanooch Phuttharaksa, for illegally transporting drugs into Vietnam. She then appealed to the higher court to repeal her sentence, asking for leniency.

On October 3, the Supreme People’s Court in Ho Chi Minh City heard her appeals case but refused to accept her reason that she was forced to carry the drugs and her ignorance of Vietnamese Law. As a result, the jury maintained status quo on her death sentence.

By Ai Chan – Translated by Hai Mien

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