A Nigerian man and a Thai woman have been arrested after almost nine kilogrammes of crystal methamphetamine or "ice" were found stuffed into new handbags imported from China.
Sawaros Nathawil, 34, and John Anike Chinedu, 24, a Nigerian national, were arrested separately in Samut Prakan and Bangkok and taken for a media briefing at the Narcotics Suppression Bureau headquarters on Saturday.
A total of 8.5kg of crystal methamphetamine hidden in 35 women’s fashion handbags were seized from them.
Ms Sawaros was apprehended when she showed up to receive three parcels at a car park of a condominium building on Srinakarin Road in tambon Samrong Nua of Muang district in Samut Prakan on Thursday.
The parcels contained the 35 new handbags, stuffed with drugs, said Pol Lt Gen Rewat Klinkesorn, NSB commissioner.
Her arrest came after the NSB received information from Chinese authorities in Guangzhou that they had arrested an African drug trafficking gang and seized an invoice detailing goods sent from Guanzhou to Thailand by the suspects, said Pol Lt Gen Rewat.
When the woman arrived to receive the parcels, officers asked to search them and found the drugs hidden in the linings, said the NSB chief.
Authorities then extended the investigation that led to the arrest of the Nigerian suspect at a rented room in Lat Krabang on Friday. A pack of crystal meth was found stuffed in a handbag found in his room.
Several handbags similar to those found in the seized parcels were also found in his room. However, those handbags had earlier been slashed.
Pol Lt Gen Rewat said he believed the two suspects might be network members of the Nigerian gang caught in China. The seized drugs were destined for sale in Bangkok and Pattaya, particularly among wealthy drug addicts, he added.
The duo have been charged with colluding in smuggling drugs into the country with intent to sell.