Woman caught smuggling 1.5kg of cocaine in her DREADLOCKS on flight to Bangkok
By STEWART MACLEAN, 12:13 PM on 13th December 2011
- The smuggled cocaine had a street value of £93,000
- Nolubabalo, 23, was hired as a drug mule for £1,200
- Judges in Thailand can impose the death penalty for drug traffickers
A woman was caught trying to smuggle 1.5 kilograms of cocaine in her dreadlocks on a flight to Bangkok, it was reported today.
South African Nobanda Nolubabalo, 23, was arrested and held in Thailand's capital yesterday after customs officers allegedly noticed a suspicious white substance in her hair.
Officials later carried out a search and discovered she had allegedly matted the Class A drug into her dreadlocks before boarding a flight from Brazil.
Arrested: South African Nobanda Nolubabalo held at customs in Bangkok as police check her dreadlocks
Thailand's Bangkok Post reported that the smuggled cocaine had a street value of £93,000 (4.5 million baht).
The newspaper reported: 'Authorities found something unusual about her dreadlocks.
'A search found traces of white substance which turned out to be cocaine.
'A total of 1.5kg of cocaine was found hidden in her hair.'
Nolubabalo was today being held in custody after being held at Bangkok's international Suvarnabhumi Airport as she disembarked a Qatar Airways flight which had come from Sao Paolo via Doha.
Testing: Officials carried out a search and discovered she had allegedly matted the Class A drug into her dreadlocks
The evidence: Officials laid the cocaine matted dreadlocks on a table in Bangkok customs for testing
The Bangkok Post reported that the suspect had allegedly admitted trying to smuggle the drug and claimed she had done so after being hired to work as a drug mule by a Thailand-based businessman for £1,200 (60,000 baht).
Thailand has some of the toughest anti-drugs laws on the planet, with judges permitted to impose the death penalty for traffickers.
The South African's arrest follows the execution of another South African citizen this week for drug smuggling in China.
Janice Linden, 38, was killed by lethal injection on Monday after she was caught in November 2008 trying to smuggle 3kg of crystal meth into the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou.
South Africa's president Jacob Zuma appealed unsuccessfully to the Chinese government to commute the sentence before she was put to death in prison.
Tough law: Thailand has some of the toughest anti-drugs laws on the planet, with judges permitted to impose the death penalty for traffickers
Drug mule: The South African woman was only paid £1,200 to smuggle the cocaine, which had a street value of £93,000