Thai woman arrested for smuggling drugs into Japan inside her body

Japanese border police arrested a Thai woman for smuggling drugs into Japan by concealing them inside her body, reported the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Thani Saengrat this morning.

The ministry received a report from the Royal Thai Embassy in Tokyo about the body packing case yesterday, said Thani.

The 41 year old Thai national – Wiwiew Thanachaowakornkul – arrived at Tokyo’s Narita airport on October 15, 2022, as part of a tour group with 31 more Thai people.

Wiwiew swallowed plastic bags and condoms containing 246 grams of methamphetamine – or “Ice” – with an estimated street value of 14.75 million yen (3,746,065 baht).

Related news

A female customs officer at Narita Airport examined Wiwiew and said she felt something solid in the “lower part” of the Thai woman’s stomach. Wiwiew insisted it was a tampon and said she needed to go to the bathroom before undergoing an X-ray.

Wiwiew locked herself in a toilet stall and stayed in there for a while. An officer waited outside the stall and inspected it afterwards, finding plastic bags and condoms containing meth in the toilet bowl.

Narita Airport Police arrested Wiwiew under suspicion of international drug smuggling, which is a serious crime in Japan.

Japanese authorities said there has not been a case similar to this for a long time due to Covid-19 pandemic entry restrictions which were lifted last month.

In 2019, before the pandemic began, Narita Airport saw 15 cases of drug smuggling using the same method. Since the remaining Covid-19 restrictions were lifted in October, Japan has seen a surge in foreign arrivals.

“We’re working to stop the flow of illegal drugs coming into Japan while cooperating with police,” a customs officer at Narita Airport told the media.

The Royal Thai Embassy noted that Wiwiew did not request any assistance from the embassy that day so they were unaware of the incident until the story surfaced in Japanese media.

Japanese authorities did not specify what sort of punishment Wiwiew would face or whether she would be extradited to Thailand. Smuggling drugs into Japan carry varying penalties depending on which drug, the number of drugs, and whether it is a first-time drug offence or not.

Last month, a South Korean drug mule died after ingesting 209 condoms filled with ecstasy which split inside his body. He was attempting to smuggle the drugs from Thailand into Malaysia.

World News


Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

Related Articles