Woman who passed drugs pleads guilty to trafficking

PUBLISHED : Friday, 02 February, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 02 February, 2007, 12:00am

A Peruvian woman who spent three days excreting packets of cocaine after being arrested at the airport has pleaded guilty to trafficking in drugs.

Saavedra Gisella, 26, was stopped while trying to enter Hong Kong on July 30 last year. She pleaded guilty in the Court of First Instance to a single charge of trafficking in a dangerous drug for trying to smuggle almost a kilogram of cocaine concealed inside her body.

The court heard she was stopped in the 'nothing to declare' channel and had her luggage searched.

An ion scan of her suitcase detected traces of cocaine but a physical search revealed nothing.

Gisella was handed over to female customs agents for a full body search. After stripping down to her waist, she had refused instructions to remove the rest of her clothes.

Three officers were hurt trying to subdue her so they could do a thorough body search, during which a cylindrical object containing 12 pellets of white powder was found.

After her arrest, Gisella was sent to hospital for further examination. She was found to have numerous other objects concealed inside her.

Between 7.45pm on July 30 and 7.55pm on August 2, 87 more pellets of drugs were discharged from her body.

The powder weighed 984.96 grams and contained 769.78 grams of pure cocaine.

Gisella told police she had been taken from Lima, in Peru, to Brazil, where she swallowed and inserted the pellets. She then flew to Hong Kong via Johannesburg.

She was promised US$1,500 for successful delivery of the drugs to an unknown contact at the City Garden Hotel in North Point.

Madam Justice Esther Toh Lye-ping adjourned the case until March 1.