May 7, 2007 / 1:01 PM / 13 years ago

Man vomits drugs, plane turns around

HANOI (Reuters) - A passenger on an Australian-bound plane vomited a nylon bag of white powder suspected to be heroin, causing the plane to return to Vietnam in the latest drug mule case between that country and Australia, officials said.

The Vietnam Airlines plane had been flying for an hour after leaving Ho Chi Minh City on Saturday when an Australian man of Vietnamese descent took ill, airline officials told the state-run Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.

The aircraft turned around and made an emergency landing at

Tan Son Nhat Airport, where the man coughed up two more bags of white powder. He was detained by police and taken to hospital.

Another newspaper, Lao Dong (Labor), reported doctors found 30 red nylon bags in the man’s stomach. It identified him as 35-year-old Nguyen Kant.

The aircraft took off again for the flight to Sydney in the early hours of Sunday morning, officials said.

In March, a man was arrested at the Ho Chi Minh City airport while checking in for a flight to Sydney. He was accused of trafficking 1.1 kg (2.4 pounds) of heroin.

At the same airport in February, an Australian woman was arrested after being caught with 1.5 kg of heroin in her luggage.

Several Australians of Vietnamese descent have been arrested for trafficking heroin to Australia from Vietnam in recent years and at least four were sentenced to death.

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