Woman caught with two cocaine 'suitcases'

Shanghai Customs officials noticed that the suitcases, when emptied, were heavier than ordinary ones. Tests showed that the suitcases were made from 10.2kg of hardened cocaine.
Shanghai Customs officials noticed that the suitcases, when emptied, were heavier than ordinary ones. Tests showed that the suitcases were made from 10.2kg of hardened cocaine.PHOTO: KANKANEWS

SHANGHAI • Shanghai Customs has arrested a woman who tried to smuggle two suitcases made from more than 10kg of cocaine in the first case of its kind in China.

The woman is from a South-east Asian country and had flown into Shanghai Pudong International Airport from South America, said a Customs official cited by Xinhua news agency. It did not specify the woman's nationality.

She was already on Customs officials' radar for being on a list of "high-risk passengers involved in drugs", Xinhua said.

When the woman was asked to empty her luggage, there was nothing suspicious at first glance - merely empty suitcases.

But the cases were heavier than ordinary ones after being emptied, said the official.

The suitcases tested positive for drug content during a fast drug test, and were later found to be made from 10.2kg of cocaine, reported Xinhua.

The incident occurred in February, but was disclosed on Tuesday ahead of the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, which falls on June 26.

Drug traffickers have long been dreaming up ways to transport cocaine - making an entire leg cast out of the drug, or dissolving it into wine, as one Chinese couple was caught doing just last month, reported the BBC.

The woman in Shanghai has the dubious distinction of trying to sneak past security entire suitcases fashioned out of hardened cocaine.

She now faces the ultimate penalty for the offence. According to Chinese law, anyone convicted of trafficking 50g or more of cocaine gets the death sentence.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 09, 2017, with the headline 'Woman caught with two cocaine 'suitcases''. Print Edition | Subscribe