Canadian charged with carrying 7 kg of drugs at Kansai airport

Kyodo

A 28-year-old Canadian woman has been arrested at Kansai International Airport in Osaka Prefecture on suspicion of smuggling illegal drugs, police and customs officials said Friday.

Cindy Lawrence, who flew to Kansai airport from Vancouver April 10, allegedly brought in 7 kg of amphetamines concealed in a modified suitcase. The stash was found with an X-ray scan, police said.

It was the most illegal drugs involving a single person at Kansai International since the airport opened in 1994, customs officials said.

At street prices, the drugs could fetch as much as ¥146 million, they said.

Lawrence, who denied the charge, has already been indicted. She told investigators she bought the suitcase from an acquaintance and had no knowledge of the drugs, the police said.

Similar drug busts involving foreign nationals toting modified suitcases have recently yielded mixed court rulings. While some have been convicted, others have been acquitted on the grounds that there was reason to believe the accused was unaware of the concealed drugs.

On Thursday, the Chiba District Court acquitted a 54-year-old British man of smuggling cannabis from South Africa.