Malian national arrested with ‘ice’ worth Bt10.5 million

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BANGKOK, July 28 – A Malian man on Thursday was detained at Thailand’s Suvarnabhumi Airport for smuggling three kilogrammes of crystal methamphetamine, also known as ‘ice, valued at Bt10.5 million (US$350,000), according to customs officers.

Demba Dabo, a Malian national, was apprehended with three kilogrammes of ‘ice’ hidden in car shafts and automotive spare parts which were placed in a specially-modified suitcase.

The drug smuggling suspect flew Qatar Airways from Nigeria to Thailand, planning to deliver the ‘ice’ to African customers here. The customers were believed to use Thailand as their base for selling contraband drugs to foreigners and expatriates, according to  customs officials.

Mr Dabo said that he was hired for Bt9,000 ($300) to smuggle and deliver the drug in Thailand each time, however, but refused to reveal which drug ring had paid for him to smuggle the substance.

The Malian detainee was transferred to the Narcotics Suppression Bureau for further investigation.

In general, drug smugglers have several techniques for concealing the drugs in order to avoid baggage check, according to the customs officials.

Regarding the latest arrest of Mr Dabo, the officers said that an X-ray scanner could not detect the drugs hidden in the suitcase.

As his travel record showed he had visited Thailand 11 times, customs officials were suspicious of him. Then they decide to use special equipment to cut car shafts and automotive spare parts and found the three kilogrammes of the illicit drug.