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Heroin trafficking trial postponed by court

NINE foreigners charged with attempting to smuggle more than 7 kilograms of heroin in their stomachs into Shanghai have had their hearing postponed.

The Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People's Court canceled yesterday's scheduled hearing without explanation and has not set another date.

Pakistani merchant Zahid Hussain Shah, 34, would be charged as the leader of the gang, officials said. Four other Pakistanis and four Filipinos were also involved.

Prosecutors allege Shah ordered others to swallow drugs wrapped in tin foil tubes in Thailand on September 3 last year. The suspects then took a China Eastern flight from Bangkok to Shanghai.

Shanghai Customs officers caught one of the suspects, Ruel Villar, a 30-year-old Filipino, at Pudong Airport after he was found acting suspiciously.

Police arrested the other eight gang members in the Dongshi Hotel the next morning, seizing heroin weighing 7.25 kilograms.


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