Kenyan woman held in cocaine bust at Thai airport identified

38 oblong packets with cocaine were found in her abdomen with another 42 in her socks and underwear. [Courtesy]
The identity of a Kenyan woman arrested on Saturday for attempting to smuggle cocaine into Thailand has been revealed.

Suamu Nkele was caught by customs officers at Suvarnabhumi airport in the nation’s capital Bangkok with more than one kilogramme of cocaine in her stomach.

Drug trafficking is a capital offence in Thailand and is punishable by death.

According to the Office of the Narcotics Control Board, the woman whose age has not been revealed hid more cocaine in her socks and underwear.

Thai authorities say Suamu had travelled from Luanda, the Angolan capital.

An X-ray showed she had swallowed 1.2kg of cocaine in a bid to avoid detection.

Suamu Nkele’s arrest comes barely three months after another Kenyan drug mule was nabbed trying to sneak cocaine into Thailand.

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Glenn Chibasellow Ooko, 43, was arrested at the same airport with 68 packets of cocaine, also weighing 1.2kg.

Ooko was arrested alongside Nigerian national Osita Joseph Ukpa, who police said had hired the Kenyan to smuggle the drugs.

Glenn Chibasellow Ooko (Right) and Nigerian Osita Joseph Ukpa at Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok. [File, Standard]
They had travelled from Ethiopia and were reportedly part of a drug network operating in Thailand.

The country is a major drug smuggling hub owing to its porous borders and lax law enforcement.

International news agency AFP in a past report noted the Southeast Asian country was a key smuggling route for drug traffickers.

“The country also serves as a transit point for a multi-billion methamphetamine trade route, smuggled through Myanmar and Laos before moving on to countries such as Australia and Japan,” AFP said.

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Suamu NkeleGlenn Chibasellow OokoDrug traffickingThailand