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Smugglers becoming more clever in hiding drugs

By Xu Chi (Shanghai Daily)

09:23, June 24, 2013

Smugglers are becoming more inventive in trying to sneak drugs into Shanghai, using underwear, hair rollers, laptops, earphones and other everyday objects as hiding places, officials said.

While such tactics are not unknown, officials said the tactics have become more frequent locally in response to heightened enforcement of law.

In one case in January of this year, a female passenger traveling from Brazil to Shanghai was arrested at Pudong International Airport after she was found to be hiding more than 3 kilograms of drugs in her underwear.

Shanghai Customs officials said the South American woman looked nervous when she arrived at the airport and she constantly tried to cover her breasts with her coat.

Customs officers found no drugs after checking her luggage, but saw a tiny piece of paper barely visible around her bra. The officers asked the woman to take off her coat and take out the piece of paper, on which a telephone number was written.

The officers then found seven packs of white powder sewn into a layer in the woman's underwear. The powder, weighing 3.28kg, was identified as cocaine.

In February, an elderly foreign passenger arrived unaccompanied at an airport in Shanghai from Paris. Customs officers thought he was suspicious since he was not accompanied by anyone else and he didn't carry much luggage.

Using an X-ray machine, the officers saw three laptop computers in his luggage and as they took them out, they found packs of white powder inside them.

The powder was identified as 3.5kg of cocaine.

In a third case, Shanghai Customs officers found a suspicious package sent to Anji, Zhejiang Province, from Bangladesh. The officers opened up the package and saw parts of a wardrobe.

Their suspicions were aroused because a wardrobe could easily be purchased in China.

Four packs of heroin, a total of about 286g, were hidden inside the wardrobe's stands.

A total of 39.16kg of drugs were seized in 33 cases by Shanghai Customs in 2012.

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