Desperate for money, African drug mules are smuggling narcotics by swallowing
capsules filled with dangerous drugs. Customs Department assistant
director-general Zainul Abidin Taib said that the smugglers were only being
paid US$2,000 (RM6,000) for the risky venture.
"Drug syndicates are targetting Africans who are desperate for money and that
is why the drug mules are willing to risk their lives, even knowing that
swallowing the drug capsules could kill them.
"Most drug mules would not take up the offer as they could overdose when the
capsules burst inside their bodies."
He said that the change in tactics was due to thorough checks at entry points
into the country, including the KL International Airport (KLIA).
Zainul said that this came about after smuggling the drugs in hidden luggage
compartments, inside decorative ceramic items and medicine boxes, were
routinely exposed by the airport's Customs officers.
The latest "swallow and smuggle" cases involving Africans were reported on Feb
28 and March 2, when four men were detained by KLIA Customs officers.
"All the arrests were made after our roving unit detained the suspects who were
acting suspiciously," said Zainul.
On Feb 28, between 7pm and 9pm, 2 Nigerians and a Guinean suspected of having
swallowed syabu-filled capsules were detained.
"All three, in their 30's, were not from the same syndicate. Checks with the
hospital revealed that each suspect had swallowed between 70 and 80 capsules,"
Customs seized a total of 4.17kg of syabu worth RM1,061,000 from the 3 suspects
who underwent body scans.
On March 2, a 34-year-old Nigerian was nabbed at 1am.
"The suspect had arrived from Dubai and had swallowed syabu capsules," said
He said that the suspect had been admitted to Kuala Lumpur Hospital and was
believed to have swallowed more than 80 capsules.
"Doctors told us there were still capsules inside the body."
All the suspects are being remanded, their cases investigated under Section 39B
of Dangerous Drug Act 1952 which carries the mandatory death penalty.
(source: Yahoo News)