Venezuelan accused of trafficking cocaine gave birth in prison, High Court hears

Jury hears that pregnant woman allegedly carried 1.6kg of cocaine from Brazil via Abu Dhabi

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 28 September, 2016, 9:04am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 28 September, 2016, 9:03am

A Venezuelan woman who was arrested on suspicion of trafficking drugs while pregnant gave birth in detention, the High Court heard on Tuesday.

Keishu Mercedes Gutierrez Alvarez , 30, faced one count of trafficking in a dangerous drug after she was arrested with about 1.6kg of suspected cocaine.

She is now staying with her son, who was born in February, at Tai Lam Correctional Institution.

New cocaine route prompts Hong Kong customs to step up Middle East links

On the first day of the woman’s trial, the court heard that she arrived in Hong Kong from Sao Paulo, Brazil via Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates on August 9 last year.

During customs clearance, an X-ray examination of her suitcase and handbag showed nothing suspicious.

But customs officers found four packets of suspected cocaine hidden in plastic wrapping around both her legs after conducting a body search.

The court heard that Gutierrez Alvarez was pregnant when she was arrested. The woman gave birth after she was detained for about six months.

The woman will give evidence through a Spanish interpreter at the seven-day trial.

Her boarding pass and booking and travel records relating to her trip to Hong Kong were shown to the seven-member jury after the prosecution presented an opening statement.

The hearing continues on Wednesday before High Court judge Mrs Justice Judianna Barnes Wai-ling.