S. African Woman Detained in Thailand for Smuggling Cocaine In Her Locs

A friend of mine just sent me a link to an article about a woman who was smuggling cocaine from South Africa to Thailand in her dreadlocks.  She used black yarn to conceal thin baggies and attached them to her head like they were locs.  She was stopped when authorities noticed suspicous powder on her head and when she was searched they found 1.5kg (!!!) of cocaine in her locs.   Here’s a video of her being detained and details on how she was hiding the substances in her hair.


Bags of cocaine concealed by wrapping black yarn around them


Cocaine in the white tubes on the table


People really do some crazy/novel/inventive things to smuggle drugs these days, like the guys who disguised cocaine as Manolo Blahniks (can you say literal shoe addiction?).  Unfortunately for us with thick hair that can conceal things (and you know you’ve lost a bobby pin or three in your hair too!), this is not good travel news and our hair is going to become subject to close scrutiny in security.

Just three days ago when flying back to Houston, I was stopped in security so that TSA could feel my hair and make sure I wasn’t hiding anything in Lola.  It was annoying and intrusive, but if you’ve been on an airplane in the past 10 years that’s just kind of how it is these days.  I’ve heard of it happening more and more as security measures become more strict.  But perhaps this is why…


What I find particularly vexing about this whole situation is that people are taking a part of our cultural identity and associating it with the drug trade and now many of us who have traveled down the road to natural are harmed by this.

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  1. it seems strange that these investigators/security officers have traits similar to Koreans who dominate the beauty supplies stores, and as well the makers of relaxers. Be careful we are not beng duped; things are not always what they seem on the surface there are underlying issues. looking at her nonverbal messages, her facial expression did not show suspiciousness, nor panic.

  2. SMH. I’ve had my fro patted down at the airport as well, but interestingly, it’s only happened once out of the several trips I’ve taken this year.

  3. I was travelling to trinidad sunday last and had to step aside for a thorough “hair check” . now i know y. talk about making things bad for the rest of us. smh

  4. Lord have mercy, that’s really sad. She has to be terrified; for one, she probably doesn’t understand a thing they’re saying and two, they kill people in Thailand for drug offenses! I read in an article that a woman got a lethal injection for drugs the same day this happened….smh

  5. Many, many years ago, I was stripped searched on the Swiss border with my European boyfriend who (not to stereotype his long, scary blond hair, but…) looked like a drug using hippie. He wanted to stash a small glob of hash in my big hair bun. I looked at him like he was crazy, and wisely declined. They never checked (this was far pre-9/11), barely looked at me, but gave him a full cavity check (eww). Fortunately, the one “cavity” they forgot was his mouth, where he had stored the goods. Thank God he didn’t tell me til it was all over! If that was today, I’d be writing you from jail for aiding and abetting. Ahhh, young love….

  6. This hair patting thing was happening before Druglocs tried to sneak on a plane. Please don’t associate what happened to her with what has been happening to black women all along.

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