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CIB cites the dangers of drug 'body packing'

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) yesterday warned of the dangers of “body packing” illicit drugs, stressing that at least three traffickers are dead because of the dangerous drug-trafficking method.

Body packing is a term used to refer to the smuggling of illicit drugs using the human body as a vehicle. Individual packets of drugs are wrapped in waterproof material and swallowed. Once they have reached their destination, these balloons are retrieved from the carrier's body.

 The CIB said many drug-traffickers have been using this method to transport narcotics into Taiwan because they believed it would make it difficult for customs authorities to detect compared to traditional smuggling methods.

However, the CIB said a simple X-ray examination would easily find out the drugs inside a person's body.

It warns of the danger of body packing due to drug toxicity resulting from a leaking or ruptured packet, causing human carriers great peril.

In the past two years, there have been at least three cases of people internally carrying illicit drugs, only to have the packages rupture, leading to death, it noted. One case occurred in 2013 and two cases were reported earlier this year.

The CIB pointed out that drug-smuggling is a felony and an offender could face life-imprisonment or even the death penalty.

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