Kenya: Police on Wednesday were forced to rush a 48-year-old woman to the hospital to save her life after she swallowed four sachets of drugs she was suspected of trafficking.

Pauline Mugure, 48, a suspected drug peddler, swallowed the sachets of suspected heroin to avoid arrest, according to a police report.

Mugure was rushed to the Moi County Referral Hospital in Voi for immediate medical attention by the detectives in charge of the investigation.

Further investigation into the matter resulted in the discovery of additional sachets hidden at her home.

According to a 2019 investigation by France24, the coastal region has become a haven for trafficking of drugs believed to have originated from Pakistan.

According to the report, body packing, or the act of swallowing drugs to transport them more discreetly, has become increasingly popular in the region.

Kenya’s Anti-Narcotics Unit (ANU) conducted over 1,500 raids in the first nine months of 2019, seizing over 56.8kg of heroin, 7.9 metric tonnes of cannabis, 3.6kg of cocaine and over Sh18 million in cash and property, a report released by the US Department of State showed.

According to the report, heroin is transported by small vessels southward along Africa’s east coast to Zanzibar and the mainland and in large quantities via land borders from Kenya, through Tanzania, and onward to Mozambique for transshipment to Europe and North America.

The report attributes the new route to Kenya’s porous 500km coastline, which allows traffickers to smuggle drugs into the country using small boats and yachts to sustain a trade that the French news channel estimates to be worth about Sh13 billion (€100 million).

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