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Home >> Life
UPDATED: 08:55, August 18, 2006
'Heroin-in-underwear' trial begins
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The case of a woman alleged to have carried underwear soaked in heroin opened yesterday at Shanghai No 1 Intermediate People's Court.

Wang Zhiqin, 42, from Wuhan, Hubei Province, is charged with transporting more than 1,440 grams of the drug. She could face the death penalty if convicted of transporting it knowingly.

On March 9, Wang is said to have arrived in Shanghai from Kunming in Yunnan Province. In a pink trunk, the prosecution say, were 15 items of underwear including long johns and panties. Drug tests apparently detected heroin on them and Wang was arrested after a tip-off.

She is reported to have confessed during the investigation and to her prison inmate that she was aware of what she was carrying, but yesterday she denied this.

"I had a fight with my husband on the evening of March 7 and left home," Wang told the court.

"I got on a train to Kunming and arrived there the next morning,

"After settling into a cheap hostel, I went to a nearby flower market in order to find a job, but found none,

"That evening, when I was eating at a street stall, two middle-aged men came up to me. I mentioned to them about my search for work and the taller one said they were from Shanghai and could find me a job there.

"But he said he needed me to take something to his family in Shanghai, and he would like to pay me 5,000 yuan (US$625) for that.

"I agreed and he asked me to meet them the next morning."

According to Wang, the two men then gave her a plane ticket to Shanghai, which would depart Kunming at 7 pm that day.

"They asked me to give them some clothes to put with their luggage, and I gave them four items of clothing."

The clothes were later found in the pink trunk on top of the drug-soaked underwear.

"They came again at 5 pm to take me to the airport and accompanied me checking in the trunk,

"I asked several times what was inside the trunk, and they assured me there would not be anything bad. I did not have any chance to check.

"I was caught when I arrived in Shanghai."

According to the investigation report from the Pudong District Department of Shanghai Municipal Public Security Bureau, a tip-off was received from Yunnan police that a woman named Wang Zhiqin was carrying heroin to Shanghai that evening, and the underwear was then found.

But investigators have not been able to extract the heroin.

"We weighed the drug-soaked underwear; it weighed 5,114.64 grams. We then asked the underwear producer how much the items weighed originally," said prosecutor Shen Huidi.

"Taking one number from the other, we got the weight of the heroin."

However, Wang's attorney argued that the result of the simple deduction was not equal to the weight of the heroin.

"There is no evidence of the exact purity and quantity of the heroin, And there is no evidence proving Wang was aware of what she was carrying." So far, the two men Wang mentioned have not been found.

No verdict was reached.

Source: China Daily

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