Customs officers at Hong Kong International Airport recovered more than half of a kilogramme of cocaine from a Nigerian woman who allegedly hid the drug in her body, South China Morning reports.

The 37-year-old arrived in the city on a flight from Lagos via Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Customs officers intercepted the suspect, who claimed to be a businesswoman and was said to be acting suspiciously, shortly after her arrival on Thursday.

She was taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Yau Ma Tei for a check-up and confirmed to have foreign objects in her body.

Officers first recovered 215 grams of cocaine contained in condoms and plastic bags found in her vagina.

She later discharged 24 capsules of cocaine, each weighing 14 grams, from her body.

The haul, weighing 550 grams in total, was estimated to be worth HK$522,000 (US$66,900).

The authorities said the woman, who was detained for inquiries, may discharge more drugs.

It is not the first time such a case has been detected.

In March 2016, a 42-year-old visitor from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was found to have 400 grams of cocaine in her vagina, and another 1.4kg of the drug hidden in her underpants.

She was later charged with one count of trafficking in dangerous drugs.

In February 2015, a 42-year-old woman from mainland China was jailed for six years for carrying 49 grams of Ice, or methamphetamine, in her vagina when she entered the city through the Lok Ma Chau border checkpoint the previous August.

In 2018, customs at Hong Kong International Airport seized 1,059kg of drugs – up 47 per cent on the previous year – accounting for about 78 per cent of the total seizures in the year.

Under the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, the maximum penalty for drug trafficking is life imprisonment and a HK$5 million fine.

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