HANOI: A court in southern Vietnam has sentenced a South African man to death after finding him guilty of trafficking nearly 1.5 kilogrammes of cocaine.

The Ho Chi Minh City Law newspaper said Coetzee Tyron Lee was convicted in a half-day trial Tuesday.

It said Lee was arrested in June 2016 upon arriving at Ho Chi Minh city‘s Tan Son Nhat international airport after officials found the drug in his bag.

The newspaper quoted Lee as telling investigators that he was hired by a Nigerian man to transport the drug for $3,500 which would be paid after his arrival in Vietnam.

Vietnam has some of the world‘s toughest drug laws. Trafficking 100 grammes or more of heroin or cocaine is punishable by death.