Drug smugglers arrested at Suvarnabhumi Airport

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An Ecuadorian woman has been arrested at Suvarnabhumi airport with six jars of moisturising cream mixed with cocaine in her luggage, and her alleged Russian contact apprehended at a Bangkok hotel.

Jenny Pacheco, 56, from Ecuador, was apprehended at Suvarnabhumi airport when she arrived on a Royal Dutch Airlines flight from Lima, Peru, on Monday afternoon.

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Narcotics police and customs officials searched her luggage and discovered six large jars of moisturising cream  laced with cocaine, weighing 2.3 kg, said Wutthipong Phetkamnerd, the narcotics officer leading the case.

“It was mixed in with the skin cream – a new smuggling tactic to avoid arrest,” he told reporters. He did not explain how the traffickers intended to extract the cocaine from the skin cream.

Ms Pacheco allegedly confessed to drug smuggling, and said she was to deliver the cocaine to a Russian man, Thai media reported.

Police subsequently arrested Russian national Shabanov Mikhail, 31, at a hotel room in Lad Krabang district of Bangkok. They also seized 278,320 baht, 31,700 Russian roubles and US$100 US from the suspect.

Mr Mikhail initially denied any knowledge of a drug delivery. The two suspects were held in police custody for legal action.

A senior police officer shows an opened jar containing moisturising cream laced with cocaine during a media briefing on three drug cases on Tuesday. Six jars of skin cream mixed with cocaine were seized from an Ecuadorian woman who arrived at Suvarnabhumi airport on Monday from Peru, and her alleged Russian contact was later arrested at a Bangkok hotel. (Photo by Apichit Jinakul)


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