The Judiciary Police (PJ) arrested a Brazilian man at the local airport when he was smuggling cocaine into Macau on Saturday, with 30 oval pellets hidden in his underpants and his right sock, while four pellets were found inside his body, PJ spokesman Leng Kam Lon said during a special press conferenceMonday.
The suspect flew from Brazil via Ethiopia and Shanghai to Macau. The suspect initially swallowed all 34 pellets, but when he was about to take a connecting flight to Macau at Shanghai Pudong International Airport, he excreted 30 of the pellets as he felt unwell and hid them in his underpants and right sock, according to Leng.
Leng identified the suspect as a 34-year-old surnamed Ramos who told the police that he works as a driver in Brazil. The suspect was hired by a drug-trafficking gang in his country to smuggle the cocaine into Macau.
Based on intelligence provided by their counterparts overseas, the Judiciary Police confirmed that cross-border drug-trafficking gangs have changed their modus operandi and smuggling routes, because of which PJ officers have strengthened their surveillance of certain flights arriving in Macau, Leng said.
According to Leng, PJ officers stationed at the airport saw a passenger – Ramos – arriving from Shanghai on Saturday acting suspiciously and consequently intercepted him.
They found cocaine wrapped in six oval pellets hidden in the suspect’s right sock and 24 pellets in his underpants, Leng said. Abdominal radiography showed that he had swallowed four additional pellets. PJ officers took the suspect to the public Conde de S. Januário Hospital Centre where he excreted the four pellets of cocaine, Leng said.
Under questioning, Ramos admitted that he had been hired by a gang in his country to smuggle the cocaine to Macau. Ramos said he was told by the gang to swallow the 34 pellets of cocaine and departed from his country last Thursday for a flight to Ethiopia, from where he took a connecting flight to Shanghai en route to Macau.
Ramos told the police that when he was about to take the flight to Macau in Shanghai, he felt unwell so he excreted 30 of the 34 pellets from his body in a washroom and then hid them in his underpants and right sock, Leng said.
Ramos told the police that he had been paid US$2,000 (16,140 patacas) by the gang before departing from his country. He was told to wait for further instructions after arriving in Macau to deliver the cocaine to specified locations, but was caught by the police beforehand, according to Leng.
However, Leng said that the Judiciary Police believe that Macau was not the final destination for the cocaine.
The suspect was told by the gang that he would be paid another amount equivalent to 30,000 patacas if he succeeded in delivering the drugs to the specified locations, according to Leng.
The cocaine seized, which weighs a total of 408 grammes, has an estimated street value of 1.35 million patacas, Leng said.
Ramos has been transferred to the Public Prosecution Office (MP) for further questioning and possible arraignment on a drug-trafficking charge. Ramos faces five to 15 years behind bars.(Macaunews)