Woman Tries to Smuggle Cocaine in Dreads

December 13, 2011  |  

We can thank Nobanda Nolubabalo for officially giving the TSA a legitimate reason to search natural hair from here on out.

The 23-year-old South African woman was caught attempting to smuggle 1.5 kilograms of cocaine in her dreadlocks on a flight to Bangkok. Authorities arrested her and held her in the capital yesterday after customs officers noticed a suspicious white substance in her hair, according to the Daily Mail. After a search, it was discovered that she matted the drug into her dreads before boarding a flight from Brazil.

The amount of cocaine was worth roughly $144,000. Nolubabalo claimed she was hired by a Thailand-based businessman to smuggle the drugs for about $1,800. The amount is far less than the price the woman may have to pay for the failed smuggling attempt, including the possibility of the death penalty. Thailand has some of the toughest anti-drugs laws in the world, and just this week another South African was executed for drug smuggling in China after an unsuccessful attempt by South Africa’s president to convert the sentence.

You can view a video of the search here. How do you think this woman’s actions will affect hair searches in the U.S. going forward?

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

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