Kenyan Woman Held in Thailand for Smuggling Cocaine

7 November 2019

Thai authorities are holding a Kenyan woman for allegedly attempting to smuggle more than a kilo of cocaine in her stomach into the country.

The woman, whose identity is yet to be revealed, was arrested at Suvarnabhumi airport after arriving into the country from Angola, the Bangkok Post reported.

She tested positive for the drug after an x-ray exam conducted on her showed she had swallowed 1.2 kilogrammes of cocaine to avoid detection.

A Thai official told a press conference that cocaine smuggled into the country is sold to high-end party goers and patrons of high-end entertainment venues.

In the recent past, there has been several cases of Kenyans attempting to smuggle cocaine into Thailand.

In August, a Kenyan man was arrested in Thailand while attempting to smuggle more than 68 capsules of cocaine in his stomach.

Authorities said the suspect, Glenn Chibasellow Ooko, 43, had flown into the country from Ethiopia when he got apprehended by authorities at the Suvarnabhumi airport.

An x-ray exam conducted on his body showed dozens of oblong items in his stomach, which were filled with cocaine.

Thai authorities confirmed that the suspect had swallowed 1.2 kilos of cocaine which were in 68 capsules.

He was arrested alongside a Nigerian national, Osita Joseph Ukpa, who police said had hired the Kenyan to smuggle the drugs.

"This is part of a drug network in Thailand," the Thai authorities said in a statement.

Thailand has long been a major drug smuggling hub, with its porous borders and lax law enforcement making it easier for transnational crime networks to transport their goods.

The country also serves as a transit point for a multi-billion methamphetamine trade route, smuggled through Myanmar and Laos before moving on to countries like Australia and Japan.

On Thursday, the Kenyan government destroyed about 100 kilos of cocaine that was confiscated at the port of Mombasa in 2016.

The cocaine valued close to Sh600,000 was burnt at the DCI forensic lab's incinerator in a court procedure overseen by Justice Luka Kimaru.

The process was witnessed by Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i, Director Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji, Inspector-General of Police Hilary Mutyambai, Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti, head of Internal Affairs Unit Mr Charlton Muriithi and the National Campaign Against Drug Abuse (Nacada) chair Rtd Col Julius Ayub Githiri amongst other senior ministry officials.

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