Alleged Thai drug smuggler sentenced to death in Vietnam

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Suracha ChaimongkolShe flew from Brazil to Vietnam with two bulky photo albums filled with two kilogrammes of cocaine. It was on October 1, 2012, when at Tan Son Nhat Airport in Ho Chi Minh City Suracha Chaimongkol was caught for drug trafficking.

On August 20, 2013, the 31-year-old graduate appeared before the Vietnam People’s Court where she claimed she had no idea she had been carrying the drugs. In her testimony, she claimed she had been asked and paid by some African people in Brazil to bring the photo albums to the owner of a card trading company in Vietnam where she had been looking for a job. However, she was charged illegally transporting narcotics. Despite her defense, the judges said she had to be responsible for the crime.

The trial lasted for a day and determined Suracha’s fate: The death sentence.

For virtually identical crimes, Suracha was the second Thai woman to receive the death penalty in 14 months, and the second foreigner within a week to be sentenced to death.

Shortly after the court’s death sentence, Manasvi Srisodapol, Thai Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman, said the Thai consulate-general in Ho Chi Minh had requested someone to attend the court’s ruling.

Manasvi said Suracha could appeal to the Supreme People’s Court of Vietnam within 15 days, or that she could request a pardon from the Vietnamese president within 7 days from the date of the ruling. Manasvi said that the Thai consulate-general in Ho Chi Minh City sent a letter to Vietnamese authorities asking them to allow Thai diplomats to visit Suracha so that they could advise her of her options and legal rights.

According to Vietnam’s drug laws, anyone convicted of trafficking, illegally producing or transporting 100 grammes or more of heroin or cocaine can face the death penalty. Vietnam has more than 586 prisoners on death row, at least 117 of whom all meet the criteria for immediate execution.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

She flew from Brazil to Vietnam with two bulky photo albums filled with two kilogrammes of cocaine. It was on October 1, 2012, when at Tan Son Nhat Airport in Ho Chi Minh City Suracha Chaimongkol was caught for drug trafficking.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Suracha ChaimongkolShe flew from Brazil to Vietnam with two bulky photo albums filled with two kilogrammes of cocaine. It was on October 1, 2012, when at Tan Son Nhat Airport in Ho Chi Minh City Suracha Chaimongkol was caught for drug trafficking.

On August 20, 2013, the 31-year-old graduate appeared before the Vietnam People’s Court where she claimed she had no idea she had been carrying the drugs. In her testimony, she claimed she had been asked and paid by some African people in Brazil to bring the photo albums to the owner of a card trading company in Vietnam where she had been looking for a job. However, she was charged illegally transporting narcotics. Despite her defense, the judges said she had to be responsible for the crime.

The trial lasted for a day and determined Suracha’s fate: The death sentence.

For virtually identical crimes, Suracha was the second Thai woman to receive the death penalty in 14 months, and the second foreigner within a week to be sentenced to death.

Shortly after the court’s death sentence, Manasvi Srisodapol, Thai Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman, said the Thai consulate-general in Ho Chi Minh had requested someone to attend the court’s ruling.

Manasvi said Suracha could appeal to the Supreme People’s Court of Vietnam within 15 days, or that she could request a pardon from the Vietnamese president within 7 days from the date of the ruling. Manasvi said that the Thai consulate-general in Ho Chi Minh City sent a letter to Vietnamese authorities asking them to allow Thai diplomats to visit Suracha so that they could advise her of her options and legal rights.

According to Vietnam’s drug laws, anyone convicted of trafficking, illegally producing or transporting 100 grammes or more of heroin or cocaine can face the death penalty. Vietnam has more than 586 prisoners on death row, at least 117 of whom all meet the criteria for immediate execution.

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