CHINA / National

Foreign drug smugglers jailed for life
By Liu Li (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-06-21 06:20

A Pakistani and a Nigerian were sentenced to life imprisonment yesterday by a Beijing court for smuggling drugs to China, the first time suspects have been caught smuggling drugs in their bodies at the Beijing Capital International Airport.

According to judgment by Beijing No 2 Intermediate People's Court, individual properties of Muhammad Zubair, a 54-year-old man from Pakistan, and Agape Emeka, a 31-year-old man from Nigeria, will be confiscated.

A third man Tahir Hussain Abbasi, 43, also from Pakistan, was sentenced to imprisonment of 15 years.

Abbasi will be deported after serving his imprisonment in China. All of his individual properties will be confiscated as well.

The case involved 1.3 kilograms of heroin smuggled last summer.

In August, Zubair arrived at Beijing Capital International Airport from Islamabad.

He was caught at a hotel in Beijing excreting 68 heroin pills weighing 600 grams, while another 400 grams of heroine were found in his sandals.

Four days later, Abbasi travelled to Beijing on the same flight from Islamabad. He had swallowed 39 heroin pills weighing 330 grams.

After being caught, Zubair and Abbasi co-operated with customs police to continue to track down Emeka in Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong Province.

Zubair and Abbasi delivered the drugs to the Nigerian, who was arrested upon receipt.

The three smugglers were taken into custody, and formally arrested in September.

According to Zubair, his boss in Pakistan offered him a payment of US$500 to smuggle the drugs to China.

Abbasi was offered a payment of US$2,000.

A total of 12 kilograms of drugs were caught by customs police in Beijing last year, according to Wang Yong, vice-director of Beijing customs, with foreigners the chief culprits.

"No Chinese have been caught so far smuggling drugs to Beijing through the airport," Wang said at a press conference yesterday.

However, Beijing was still not a major port for smuggling drugs to China, he told China Daily.

(China Daily 06/21/2006 page2)