BANGKOK - Thai authorities have arrested an Iranian man who allegedly tried to smuggle more than 50 million baht ($1.6 million) worth of crystal methamphetamine into the country disguised as handicraft art.

The Customs Department said 28-year-old Safi Zadeh Hossein was carrying two plaque-shaped sculptures when he was arrested Tuesday on arrival at Suvarnabhumi International Airport from Damascus, Syria.

Customs officials demonstrated to reporters Wednesday how the sculptures were pressed and molded from the illegal stimulant.

One 22-pound (10-kilogram) object was the image of a yellow rose, while another 11-pound (5-kilo) piece looked like a framed cameo.

Official Vorapat Jaovisidha says it's the first time his agency had seen this method.

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