Japan has its eyes on Thai visitors after discovering seven Thai women allegedly muling a kilogram of crystal meth, aka yaa ice, “in their underwear.”
Fukuoka Airport officials said the suspects, all between 20 and 50, were searched because they were acting suspiciously, according to Thailand’s narcotics board. They raise to a face-palm-worthy 37 Thais arrested on drug smuggling charges in the Land of the Rising Sun this year, prompting extra scrutiny for Thai travelers.
“For those traveling into Japan, please note that Japanese authorities are now hyper-vigilant about drug smuggling into the country especially by visitors traveling from Thailand,” Niyom Termsrisuk, the Narcotics Control Board’s sec-gen, told reporters.
Upon questioning, all seven women reportedly admitted to smuggling the drugs into the country for sale to foreigners living in Japan.
It’s unclear whether they were carried the hard way. Although officials did not specify how the packages were carried, provided photos show bundles of black meth wrapped tightly plastic or condoms. One appears wrapped in a sanitary pad.
The 37 Thais arrested this year in 20 separate drug-smuggling incidents, Niyom said. Most of those busted were women traveling to the country as tourists. Niyom added that perpetrators were hired, encouraged or pressured into smuggling by an “ethnic” drug trafficker. He didn’t specify the ethnicity of the trafficker nor elaborate on his point, which seemed a typical way to suggest Thais are above such things.
“We’d like to warn our citizens not to fall victim or to be persuaded to be used as a tool in these dealers’ cross-country smuggling schemes. This may come in the form of inviting you to travel for free in exchange for hiding drugs in your body or they may just blatantly ask you to smuggle drugs,” Niyom said.
Niyom said the department is investigating the drug lords enticing Thais to smuggle drugs.
The Narcotics Control Board asks anyone with information or tips to call its 24/7 hotline at 1386.