HANOI - Vietnam has arrested a Malaysian woman for smuggling cocaine, state media said Wednesday, a crime punishable by death in the communist country. Kaur Gurcharan Singh Manpal, 44, was caught with five kilograms (11 pounds) of cocaine at Ho Chi Minh City’s international airport on Tuesday night, according to Tuoi Tre newspaper. She had travelled to Columbia, Panama, Brazil and Dubai before landing in Vietnam where authorities detected the powdered drug in her baggage, it reported.

Under some of the world’s toughest drug laws, anyone found guilty of possessing more than 600 grams (20 ounces) of heroin or cocaine can face the death penalty in Vietnam. Dozens of foreigners have been sentenced to death for drug offences but it has been decades since a foreign national was executed in the country.

and drug-smuggling and use is commonplace.

In September, an Australian woman of Vietnamese origin was imprisoned for 20 years for trying to smuggle heroin in her underwear. Last year, a Philippine man and woman were sentenced to death for smuggling in 11 pounds of cocaine.