A 40-year-old domestic worker has been charged with drug trafficking after she received a parcel from Laos with 3.6 kilograms of suspected methamphetamine on Thursday.

Customs officers inspected an airmail parcel on November 8, which claimed to contain eight English books from Laos at Hong Kong Airport but they found compartments inside six of the books when they were put through X-ray inspection, Oriental Daily reported.

The officers investigated and found the six books had empty pages and stored six batches of suspected methamphetamine sealed in aluminum foil.

The illegal drugs had an estimated market value of about $1.7 million (US$217,013).

Officers from the customs drug investigation bureau followed up the case and arrested a female domestic worker in Wong Tai Sin, Kowloon as she was the recipient of the parcel.

The reports did not mention the nationality of the domestic worker.

A number of domestic workers have been arrested and charged with drug trafficking in the past because they were recipients of illegal parcels. They surrendered their identity and address for rewards, but some said they were only helping friends out.

Under the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, trafficking a dangerous drug is a serious offense. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of $5 million and life in prison.