Four Vietnam Airlines flight attendants have been arrested on suspicion of trying to smuggle around 11.4 kilograms of drugs from France through Ho Chi Minh City Airport.
The women, including the 37-year-old cabin manager, allegedly smuggled the drugs in toothpaste tubes. Police claim the narcotics have been identified as ecstasy and other synthetic drugs.
All four flight attendants were apprehended after they arrived on the same flight from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport last Thursday. They were stopped by customs officers after routine x-ray screening of their checked-in luggage, according to local news reports.
The cabin crew reportedly told police that they had been paid the equivalent of just $424 to carry the package into Vietnam after they were approached by an as-yet-unidentified person in France.
The relatively inexperienced flight attendants told police they agreed to take the package without first scrutinizing the contents because they were all exhausted after the long flight from Vietnam to France.
Local police say the four women appeared ‘shocked’ when the drugs were discovered.
Last year, a Malaysian flight attendant was sentenced to five years and eight months in an Australian prison after he pleaded guilty to “repeatedly” smuggling commercial quantities of Heroin into the country.
Australian officials believe the flight attendant was part of a criminal gang which managed to smuggle around A$6 million worth of heroin into Australia.
The gang used Malaysian flight attendants to smuggle drugs into Australia, with the majority funnelled through Melbourne Tullamarine International Airport.
In December, a flight attendant in the United States pleaded guilty to attempting to smuggle fentanyl strapped to her abdomen through a security checkpoint at San Diego International Airport.
Terese Lee White, who was off duty at the time, attempted to use a special expedited screening lane reserved for pilots and flight attendants but was pulled for a random enhanced screening that detected an anomaly around her abdomen, which prompted further investigation.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.