A drug trafficker was caught with cocaine under his toupee and other weird ways to transport.
Cocaine smugglers use some awfully odd tactics to transport the drug – odd, and sometimes very dangerous.
A man was recently arrested in Barcelona, Spain, for concealing nearly $34,000 of cocaine under his over-sized toupee. His name has not been released. Authorities say he arrived on a flight from Bogota, Colombia, and was acting very anxious. The man was also wearing a much-too-large hairpiece under his hat, which drew the attention of authorities. On a hunch, officers searched the traveler, found the stash and he was detained at Barcelona’s international airport after half a kilo of cocaine was found.
“There is no limit to the inventiveness of drug traffickers trying to mock controls,” the police said.
ometimes the transport is not so obvious. In fact, it can be really well thought out. In 2018, Spanish police seized 67 kilos of cocaine that was hid by trafficker inside hollowed out pineapples. The cocaine was coated in a wax that emitted an aroma of fresh fruit.
Authorities said the pineapples originally came from Costa Rica and were shipped through Port of Setúbal in Portugal. They made their way to Mercamadrid, a food market in the Spanish capital city. It was there that authorities were able to intercept the fruit, smashing the pineapples while on video to reveal the drugs. Seven people were subsequently arrested Barcelona and Madrid.
Perhaps the most dangerous way to transport is by actually swallowing packets of the substance. May of this year, a Japanese man from Thailand, identified as Udo N. in court documents, died on a flight from Mexico City to Tokyo with 246 packets of cocaine in his stomach. He evidently flew from Bogota, Colombia, to Mexico City, where he then boarded a flight to Narita, Tokyo after passing a baggage examination.
“Crew noticed a person suffering convulsions and requested to make an emergency landing in Hermosillo, Sonora,” a statement from authorities said.
Paramedics boarded the plane and found the passenger had died. An autopsy revealed he had suffered cerebral edema caused by an overdose. It was discovered that he had 246 plastic packets of cocaine in his stomach and intestines, indicating he had swallowed his stash on purpose. Swallowing packets is a common way that smugglers try to move substances from country to country. The body was reportedly removed from the plane and the flight continued to Japan with its nearly 200 passengers on board.
In September 2016 a 48-year-old Australian man was also caught with 1.1 kilo of cocaine in his stomach at Sydney Airport, Australia, but actually lived through the ordeal. He arrived in Australia from Thailand. It was not evident how he was caught, but when he was, the man told officers he had more than 100 packets of cocaine in his stomach. While detained, he passed 46 packets, then he was taken to a hospital, where 64 more were removed. All in all, he had ingested 2.4 pounds of the drug and was taken into custody, ultimately charged with importing cocaine.
“Importing drugs internally is extremely dangerous as it can lead to serious health risks and even death,” said ABF Acting Commander Organized Crime Branch Lesley Dalton. The drug trade is certainly a dangerous one all around.