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Drug swallower arrested for importing $1.2 million of heroin

Drug swallower arrested for importing $1.2 million of heroin

A South African woman has been arrested and charged in relation to the importation of approximately 1.2 kilos of the class A drug heroin, with a street value of $1.2 million.

The woman arrived in Christchurch on 15 June and was questioned by Customs officers at the airport. A total of 99 pellets were found concealed in the woman’s luggage, and on and inside her body. One pellet had to be surgically removed after several days because of the health risk to the courier.

Group Manager Intelligence Investigations & Enforcement, Chris Howley says the woman is lucky to be alive.

“Drugs themselves are dangerous but when they are swallowed there is a very real risk that the pellets could burst with a potentially fatal outcome,” says Mr Howley.

Police assisted Customs with enquiries and interviews throughout the operation. The woman remains in custody without plea following a bedside hearing this morning.

“People trying to smuggle drugs go to great lengths to hide them, and Customs is continually reviewing its methods to improve detection”, Mr Howley said.

Syndicates using couriers don’t care about the health and or penalties the couriers face when trafficking drugs across borders.

Today marks the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s (UNODC) International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.


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