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American woman nabbed on heroin cha

Subject: American woman nabbed on heroin charge (fwd)

	BANGKOK, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- Thai police said they arrested an American  
woman Tuesday after finding nearly eight pounds (3.6 kg) of heroin 
hidden in her suitcase. 
	Speaking at a press conference in Bangkok, Police Colonel Amarate  
Ratanapibul said he led an team of police that nabbed Lisa Ann Padilla, 
26, as she was waiting in the departure lounge of Bangkok's Don Muang 
Airport to board a flight to Europe. 
	``I don't know anything. It's not my bag,'' Padilla said as she was  
escorted away by police. 
	Col. Amarate said Padilla, from Upland, California, will be charged  
with narcotics trafficking and attempted smuggling, which carry a 
maximum penalty of death. 
	He said the drug was found in two plastic bags concealed in the  
suspect's luggage. 
	``We are pretty certain Ms. Padilla is connected to a Nigerian gang  
that smuggles heroin worldwide,'' Col. Amarate said. ``We have been 
investigating this gang for a long time.'' 
	Despite the Nigerian connection, he said, the number of heroin  
arrests by Thai police has dropped dramatically in the past year. 
	Other drug enforcement officials have attributed the decline in the  
amount of heroin shipped through Bangkok to a corresponding rise in the 
amount of the drug smuggled through Rangoon and southern China. 
	Police Major General Nopadon Somboon, a senior officer of the  
Narcotics Suppression Bureau, said the arrest of Padilla was the result 
of a lengthy investigation of an international smuggling ring.