British tourist’s Phuket nightmare as cocaine was found in his passport at a Thai airport checkpoint leading to his arrest. James Louis Swaine faces up to 20 years in prison in addition to a fine for what looks like either a stupid mistake or setup.

A 29-year-old British man is behind bars in Phuket after a shocking start to his holiday in Thailand. On Thursday night, at Phuket International Airport, an immigration officer discovered a plastic bag of white powder. It was lying between the pages as she attempted to stamp the holidaymaker’s passport. Despite the man’s shock and surprise, officers arrested him after the substance was confirmed as 0.42 grams of cocaine.

29-year-old James Louis Swaine was arrested after police at Phuket International Airport confirmed the substance in the plastic bag was cocaine. At length, it was found lodged in the pages of his passport. The discovery was made as an Immigration Bureau officer attempted to stamp his arrival visa on Thursday night.

A British tourist was arrested at Phuket International Airport on Thursday night and charged with importing cocaine. An Immigration Bureau officer discovered a plastic bag of cocaine in his passport.

In brief, 29-year-old James Louis Swaine from Enfield in London had just flown in on an Etihad Airways flight.

In the meantime, the UK national faces a jail term of up to twenty years if convicted in court. Cocaine is a Schedule II narcotic under Thailand’s strict drug laws.

Immigration officer sought to find a blank page to stamp the UK tourist’s passport on his arrival in Thailand on Thursday at Phuket International Airport

The discovery occurred as a female officer was flipping through the UK man’s passport. At length, she was trying to find a clear page to stamp his arrival in Thailand. The plastic bag was found lodged between the pages.

Afterwards, the UK tourist reacted with acute shock, cursing and swearing. Additionally, he appeared physically distressed and began shaking. In turn, this prompted police to search his luggage. No further drugs were found.

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In short, the amount of cocaine found in the plastic sachet was tested. It was confirmed to be 0.42 grams of the prohibited narcotic. Significantly, the street value of the drug in London ranges from $80 to $110 per gram.

Briefing by police at the airport

Meanwhile, a press briefing was given by airport authorities. Police Colonel Padthongtew Damapong, Superintendent of Immigration at Phuket International Airport addressed reporters.

‘An immigration officer found the cocaine when she was checking the tourist’s passport. The suspect was charged with importing Category II narcotics, namely cocaine, into the country and possessing them,’ he revealed. ‘The suspect was handed over to Sakhu Police Station for further legal action.’

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Further reading:

UK drug trafficker arrested in swoop by heavily armed police after being on the run for 5 years in Thailand

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Drug violence and death now a daily part of life in Thailand, drug dealer dies in firefight with police

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