In a bold move that promised to earn her the equivalent of $1,925, 23-year-old Nobanda Nolubabalo allegedly matted 1.5kg of cocaine into her dreadlocks and boarded a plane from Brazil to Bangkok, the Daily Mail reports.
Authorities in Thailand detained the South African woman today, after discovering a suspicious white substance in her hair. Following a search, the substance was determined to be cocaine, a total of 1.5kg, which was wrapped in plastic and concealed inside each lock.
Video footage at Bangkok's international Suvarnabhumi Airport, where the woman is being detained, show authorities separating the drugs from what appears to be artificial locks, tied into Nolubabalo's natural hair with yarn.
Nolubabalo arrived in Bangkok on a Qatar Airways flight from Sao Paolo, Brazil just one day after another South African citizen, 38-year-old Janice Linden, was put to death by lethal injection for trying to smuggle 3kg of crystal meth into the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou in November 2008.
Thailand has some of the toughest penalties for drug offenses in the world. In July, Thai authorities arrested an Iranian man who allegedly tried to smuggle more than 50 million baht ($1.6 million) worth of crystal methamphetamine into the country disguised as handicraft art.
Nolubabalo is reportedly the 12th South African to be caught smuggling drugs into Thailand this year.