A Vietnamese woman has been sentenced to death for smuggling 22 bricks of heroin weighing nearly eight kilograms from Laos into Vietnam.

The Superior People’s Court based in the central city of Da Nang on Tuesday carried out the second trial of Phan Thi Dao, a 39-year-old resident from the northern province of Bac Kan.

Dao was charged for the illegal transport and trade of drugs.

According to the indictment, Dao became acquainted with a woman named Hoang Thi Hien, who hails from the northern province of Ninh Binh.

On August 10, 2018, Hien contacted Dao and hired her to smuggle an amount of drugs from Laos into Vietnam for VND50 million (US$2,150).

Dao first arrived in Ninh Binh to receive a bag containing U.S. dollars from Hien.

She then headed to Laos’ Bolikhamsai Province and handed the cash to a Laotian man named Say, before receiving 22 packs of heroin, weighing around 350g each, hidden inside a used automobile engine block.

The cakes of heroin are confiscated by police officers. Photo: T.X. / Tuoi Tre

The bricks of heroin are confiscated by police officers. Photo: T.X. / Tuoi Tre

Dao was instructed to catch a passenger bus back to Vietnam’s Central Highlands province of Kon Tum at 1:00 pm on August 12, 2018.

She was able to pass the Bo Y Border Gate in Kon Tum Province without any problem.

However, Dao was traveling on a passenger bus in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak two days later when the vehicle was pulled over by traffic police.

Officers were able to discover the drug haul hidden inside the engine block and arrested Dao.

Police reports showed the 22 bricks of heroin weighed a total of 7.73 kilograms.

Dao also admitted to having smuggled drugs on July 20 and August 1 and was paid VND100 million ($4,300) in total.

Her first trial was previously carried out by the Dak Lak People’s Court, where she was sentenced to life in prison.

The provincial People’s Procuracy believed Dao’s punishment should be harsher, before the case was transferred to the higher-level Da Nang Superior People’s Court for a second instance.

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