29-year-old South African man arrested at Phuket Airport with 1.49 kilograms of cocaine in abdomen

Phuket –

A 29-year-old South African man has been arrested at the Phuket International Airport with 1.49 kilograms of cocaine in his abdomen worth 4.47 million baht.

The custom spokesman Mr. Chaiyut Kamkun told TPN media, “The Airport Interdiction Task Force: AITF, discovered that the 29-year-old man was found smuggling cocaine into the country on June 9th, 2022. He came from Ethiopia and arrived in Phuket June 9th, 2022. No illegal items were found in his luggage but he was acting nervous and customs officials became suspicious and asked the man to submit to an X-ray, where they found cocaine packets inside his abdomen instead. The suspect, whose name was not provided by customs, reportedly admitted that he swallowed the drugs.”

“We managed to remove the drugs from the suspect’s abdomen with some difficulty. We found that it is 1.49 kilograms of cocaine which has an estimated street worth of 4.47 million baht. He was taken to the Sakoo Police Station for further processing and legal action.” Chaiyut stated.

Under Thailand’s drug laws, cocaine is a category two drug and as a result the suspect faces the following potential legal penalty, which could possibly be a life sentence:

  • Up to 10 years imprisonment and a fine of 100,000 – 1,000,000 Baht for production, importation or exportation. If the substance or substances found include morphine, opium or cocaine the penalty is increased to imprisonment of 20 years to life and a fine of 2,000,000 – 5,000,000 Baht

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News Translator who has worked professionally for multiple news organizations in Thailand for many years and has worked with The Pattaya News for closing in on three years. Specializes primarily in local news for Pattaya, Chonburi, and Phuket, with emphasis on translation between Thai to English and working as an intermediary between reporters and English-speaking writers. Originally from Nakhon Si Thammarat, but lives in Phuket and Krabi except when commuting between the three.