A Ghanaian-Belgian man who died suddenly at a Japanese airport this week was smuggling a package of drugs in his stomach that probably burst, a diplomatic source said on Friday.
The 55-year-old, whose name was being withheld, had arrived at Osaka's Kansai International Airport on Sunday from Ghana via Dubai carrying a valid Belgian passport.
Upon arrival the man, who looked in poor health, requested a wheelchair, local media reported. After he refused to explain his visit to Japan, airport officials led him away for further questioning.
On Tuesday, an immigration official said: "He was not cooperative and suddenly ran away from the office. As we caught him, he became limp. He was sent to a nearby hospital, and his death was confirmed there."
An autopsy revealed that he had died of a drug overdose, the diplomatic source told AFP.
"It is a classical case where packages containing illegal substances explode or crack open inside the stomach. The drug is currently being analysed," the source added.
The man was carrying valid Belgian and Ghanaian passports, according to police, who said he lived in Belgium with his family.
His body will be sent back to Belgium with his personal belongings after the investigation.
Japan has some of the toughest drug laws in the developed world, and consumption and trafficking are usually punished with lengthy jail terms.
July 30, 2010 - 4:44PM
The Sydney Morning Herald