• Drug courier caught with stomach full of shabu

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    Akilou Bassi-Shabu

    A chemist of the NBI presents to media 34 of 60 packs of shabu which suspected drug courier Akilou Bassi of the Republic of Benin had tried to hide by swallowing some and inserting others in his anus. Bassi’s suspicious movements led the NBI to subject him to an X-ray. PHOTO BY EDWIN MULI

    A West African swallowed 60 improvised capsules of shabu in an attempt to smuggle the banned substance into the country. He was arrested at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport after he complained of stomach pain.

    The capsules, each the size of an adult human thumb, were stuffed in the stomach of Akilou Bassi, a 30-year-old resident of Benin. The capsules contained a total of 448 grams of shabu.

    As of Monday, Bassi had “expelled” 34 of the capsules. Authorities were still waiting for him to get rid of the rest of the contraband.

    Bassi arrived at NAIA on June 7. He immediately raised the suspicions of immigration officers because he could not satisfactorily explain the purpose of his visit, giving only the name of the hotel he will be checking in.

    He also appeared to be in extreme abdominal pain.

    Ross Jonathan Galicia, head agent of the National Bureau of Investigation’s Reaction and Interdiction Division (RAID), said Bassi was taken to a hospital where an X-ray revealed the contents of his stomach.

    Galicia said Bassi confessed that a man promised him $4,000 if he delivered the capsules from Togo, Benin, to a local contact in the Philippines.

    On Monday, Bassi was supposed to be presented to the media at NBI headquarters, along with the recovered shabu. But he was busy in the toilet disposing of the remaining capsules.

    Galicia said it was the first time they arrested a drug courier with shabu capsules in his stomach. The substance was usually stashed in bags and other luggage.

    Galicia said Bassi swallowed the shabu to avoid detection by drug-sniffing dogs.

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