Body scanner to detect drugs at airport in Macau

Macau Daily Times

The Judiciary Police (PJ) will soon install an x-ray machine at the Macau International Airport to assist in the crackdown on the smuggling of illicit drugs inside body cavities.

PJ director Wong Sio Chak also stressed in a meeting with the media yesterday that inspections will also continue to be reinforced at various border checkpoints to prevent illicit drugs from coming into Macau.

Macau reported a total of 102 drug trafficking cases in 2010, a “slight increase” from 99 in 2009, Wong said, but the situation of smuggling drugs inside body cavities and using the Macau airport as a transit remains “severe”.

In 2010 alone, 16 “drug couriers” were arrested at the Macau airport, up from 13 in 2009 but down from 24 when compared to 2008, information released by the PJ showed.

Wong said the “drug couriers” usually flew to Macau on low-cost carriers and therefore the PJ officers stationed at the airport will conduct more frequent inspections on passengers coming by this kind of flight, adding that the success rate was “quite high”.

He also pointed out that crime syndicates usually make use of people with HIV to smuggle illicit drugs by hiding them inside their body cavities.

The director said the PJ will soon be equipped with an x-ray machine so that suspects will have their bodies scanned before being sent to the hospital.

That way, the hospital’s workload can be eased as currently the x-ray machines are only available there, he added.

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