Thai smuggler caught in Indonesia after swallowing 1,200 ecstasy pills

December 21st, 2010 - 1:14 am ICT by BNO News  

DENPASAR, INDONESIA (BNO NEWS) — Authorities have arrested a Thai woman after she tried to enter the Indonesian resort island of Bali with approximately 1,200 ecstasy pills, the Jakarta Globe reported on Monday.

Uemduen Sophawat, 24, was detained on Thursday after customs officials noted she was nervous when she arrived at Bali’s international airport from Bangkok. During a subsequent body search, officers found her to have a hard stomach.

Sophawat was then sent to a nearby hospital for further examination where doctors discovered 1,280 ecstasy pills in her stomach which had been wrapped in plastic. The package weighed about 402 grams and is valued to be worth about 448 million rupiah ($50,000).

“The pills were in a number of plastic wraps which she swallowed about 90 times,” said Bali customs chief Made Wijaya, according to the Jakarta Globe.

Sophawat claimed that an Israeli man had offered her $656 to smuggle the narcotics into Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport. The woman, who said she is a dancer in her native country, was taken to Bali’s Customs Office on Monday for further questioning.

The alleged Thai dancer faces life imprisonment or the death penalty if she is convicted of drug smuggling. Bali is one of Asia’s most popular destinations for Western tourists. However, Indonesia has one of the world’s toughest anti-drug laws.

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