Drugs trafficked by air have recently become more complicated in the country as smugglers use many tricks to deal with local customs control.

The assessment was made by Tong Le Dan, deputy head of the Tan Son Nhat International Airport Customs Sub-department in Ho Chi Minh City.

Among the tricks was to cover drugs with tin foil and then sprinkle them with pepper or soak them with perfume of balm oil to neutralise the detector dogs' sniffing ability. Drugs were also hidden inside shoe soles, candlesticks and computers.

Particularly, traffickers have recently take advantage of students, unemployed people, and women with small children in the trafficking of drugs, Dan stressed.

Officers at the Tan Son Nhat International Airport over the past one year have discovered 34 cases of drug trafficking and seized nearly 102kg of drugs and over 2,000 synthetic drug tablets, according to the airport's customs sub-department.

The latest case occurred on October 27 when two Australian nationals were arrested for illegally trafficking 11 packages totalling 3.5kg of heroin. The two air passengers were said to have tried every trick in the book to get past customs procedures, even spraying the packages with deodorant to prevent detection by drug sniffing dogs.

Airport customs officers on October 13 also caught a 26-year-old Chinese woman, Li Chunying, carrying 2.2kg of methamphetamine hidden in her luggage.

Even though established for less than one year, the Customs Express Service Sub-department under the Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department has so far confiscated 38.5kg of drugs concealed in gifts sent via air.

Mentioning this trick of drug trafficking, the deputy head of the sub-department said that smugglers put drugs into packages which used to contain products such as instant coffee, black sesame powder, dried jackfruit, Lipton tea, and even cosmetics.

Meanwhile, head of the Tan Son Nhat International Airport Customs Sub-department Do Thanh Quang gave two reasons for the increase in drug trafficking cases, despite the fact that many smugglers have been sentenced to death for this type of crime.

Accordingly, extremely high profit was the first factor in people's decision to commit the crime and defy the law. Secondly, Tan Son Nhat International Airport is the biggest of its type in the country; therefore, it is considered an entree port for traffickers travelling to a third country.

"We are very concerned with the issue and determined to tighten the management so that Tan Son Nhat airport will become an effective unit to fight the crime," Quang said.-VNA