Cocaine in Wheelchair Could Get Man Life Sentence

Hong Kong customs agents found 24 pounds of suspected cocaine in wheelchair cushions
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 16, 2023 6:15 PM CDT
24 Pounds of Suspect Cocaine Found in Motorized Wheelchair
Police say the suspected cocaine was stashed in the wheelchair's cushions.   (Hong Kong Customs)

Authorities in Hong Kong say an airline passenger's wheelchair was packed with enough suspected cocaine to get him a potential life sentence. The South China Morning Post reports that the 51-year-old passenger, who has mobility issues, flew with the motorized wheelchair as one of his items of checked baggage. After it was X-rayed, customs officials spotted that its cushions had been restitched and found 24 pounds of suspected cocaine stuffed into its cushions and backrest, the BBC reports.

Customs officials say the man claimed to be the director of a car rental company and said a friend had loaned him the wheelchair. He flew to Hong Kong from the Dutch Caribbean territory of Sint Maarten via Paris. The man has been charged with trafficking in a dangerous drug, which has a maximum penalty of life in prison. (Customs agents made a similar find at New York City's JFK Airport last year.)

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