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South African woman caught smuggling drugs in her dreadlocks (VIDEO)

Bangkok police said Nobanda "Babsie" Nolubabalo, 23, from South Africa, had cocaine hidden in her dreadlocks when she arrived on a flight from Sao Paolo via Doha.
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A South African woman was arrested at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport after police found cocaine hidden in her dreadlocks. (Krob Krua Kao 3/Screengrab)

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — A South African woman has been caught smuggling cocaine in her dreadlocks by customs officials at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Nobanda Nolubabalo, 23, was searched by police after arriving in Bangkok on a Qatar Airways flight from Sao Paulo via Doha.

Police told the Bangkok Post they had noticed a white substance in her hair, and upon searching Nolubabalo's dreadlocks, found 3.3 pounds of cocaine worth an estimated 4.5 million baht ($145,000).

Police said Nolubabalo admitted to smuggling the drugs in her dreadlocks. She was to be paid 60,000 baht ($1,900) to deliver the cocaine to a customer at a hotel in Bangkok, Thai media reported

Nolubabalo, nicknamed "Babsie," is from Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape province, South Africa's Times newspaper reported.

Thailand has severe penalties for drug convictions, including long jail sentences and even the death penalty for some offenses. 

The SABC reported that Nolubabalo is the 12th South African to be caught for drug trafficking in Thailand this year.

The group Locked Up Abroad told Eyewitness News that the number of South African drug mules imprisoned in foreign countries "is rising at an alarming rate every month."


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Boy brings mom's crack pipe, crystal meth for show-and-tell

The kindergarten student, age 5, was prevented from sharing his mother's drug paraphernalia with classmates by an alert teacher.
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Crystal meth confiscated during a police raid. A kindergarten student in rural Missouri brought a bag of crystal meth and a crack pipe to school for show-and-tell. (Phil Walter/Getty Images)

An excited kindergarten student in rural Missouri brought in a few special things he found at home for class show-and-tell: his mom's baggies of crystal meth and crack pipe.

But the boy, age 5, was prevented from sharing his "treasures" with classmates by an alert teacher, Reuters reports.

A teacher saw the crack pipe and baggies of drugs, and police were called before the student had a chance to participate in show-and-tell.

The elementary school is located in rural Sweet Springs, Missouri, a town of 1,500 residents located about 66 miles east of Kansas City on the Blackwater River, Reuters says.

"That was a first for show-and-tell in this town," Police Chief Richard Downing told Reuters.

The boy's mother, Michelle Cheatham, 32, was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance and child endangerment. She is currently out on bail, and the boy is being cared for by relatives, KCTV-5 reports.


The world's worst drug-trafficking offenders

The US has expanded its drug-trafficking watch list. See which countries are falling short in the war on drugs.
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Colombian police show marijuana seized from criminal gangs in Colombia on Feb, 18, 2011. (Raul Arboleda/AFP/Getty Images)

The White House added El Salvador and Belize to its list of major drug producing and transit countries and singled out Bolivia, Burma and Venezuela for their failure to fight illegal drugs.

The list, released today, includes 22 total nations, all but five of which are in Latin America (see the full list below).

The addition of El Salvador and Belize means that all seven Central American countries are on the list for the first time, reflecting how much the illegal drug trade has enveloped the region.


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