Duped Canadian on Vietnam death row

Toronto woman Nguyen Hiep, 42, has been kept in shackles for three years after being sentenced to death in Hanoi, after she and her mother were found guilty of smuggling heroin in 1996. Her mother, 72, was sentenced to life imprisonment. Hiep was duped by a stranger into carrying art panels from Vietnam to Toronto, and unbeknownst to her they contained 5 kilos of heroin. Canadian officials are attempting to have Hiep’s death sentence commuted.
In a very similar 1996 case, a woman was caught with packages containing heroin after arrival at Toronto’s Pearson airport. She was exonerated after Canadian investigators determined she had been unknowingly been duped by a man named Phu Hoa, who was found guilty of smuggling and sentenced to 14 years in jail. Investigators believe Hiep was also duped by Hoa, but have been unable to speak to Hiep as she is already on death row. Prime Minister Chretien made a personal appeal for clemency towards Hiep in the fall of 1997.

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