Vietnam Commutes Death Sentence on Aussie Drug Trafficker

A 2011 anti-drug protest in Binh Duong, Vietnam. Photo: garycycles7 / Flickr

HANOI — An appeals court in Vietnam has commuted the death sentence of a 73-year-old Australian woman convicted of heroin trafficking.

The online state media outlet Vietnamnet quoted the People’s High Court in Ho Chi Minh City as citing Nguyen Thi Huong’s sincere confession and age for granting leniency. The sentence was reduced to life in prison at the appeals trial Monday.

Court officials were not available for comment Tuesday.


Huong was sentenced to death in June after being convicted of trafficking 3.5 pounds of heroin.


She was arrested in December 2014 when checking in for a flight to Australia after the heroin was found hidden in 36 bars of soap in her luggage.

Vietnam has some of the world’s toughest drug laws where trafficking even small amounts of heroin is punishable by death.