Legless coke smuggler tripped up by police

Spanish police on Tuesday arrested a man who tried to smuggle cocaine into the country inside his fake leg.

Legless coke smuggler tripped up by police
The man was carrying 750g of cocaine inside a prosthetic limb. Photo: Policía Nacional

The narcotics agents were carrying out a routine drugs inspection at Madrid's Barajas airport when they spotted the man behaving suspiciously.

These doubts proved to be well-founded. The man, a passenger from Panama, was carrying two packages of cocaine inside his prosthetic limb.

The leg contained 750 grams of the drug and the criminal was immediately arrested.

In another incident on June 4th at Barajas airport, an airport employee and a passenger arriving from Peru were both arrested for trying to smuggle 10kg of cocaine into Spain.

The passenger's nervous attitude prompted police to check his suitcase where the drugs were found.

When the man was arrested, he admitted that he was planning to hand the drugs over to a member of staff at the airport.  

Spain's close ties with its former colonies in Latin America, a major cocaine-producing region, have made it a key entry point for the drug in Europe.

Last year police seized two tonnes of narcotics, mostly cocaine, and detained 461 people for drug trafficking at Barajas, Madrid's main airport.

Just over 45 million passengers passed through the airport last year, making it Spain's busiest.

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Ex-footballer arrested over cocaine-laced cardboard smuggling plot in Spain

Spanish police said Wednesday that a former Real Madrid player was among those arrested when they busted a suspected international smuggling ring which infused cocaine into cardboard boxes.

Ex-footballer arrested over cocaine-laced cardboard smuggling plot in Spain
The cocaine was infused into cardboard boxes used to import pineapples and limes. Photo: Janine/Flickr

Edwin Congo and a one-time doctor to Argentine football icon Diego Maradona were arrested, along with 16 others, police said.   

The ring would conceal small amounts of cocaine — no more than 100 grammes — in the paper of each box which it then recovered “through a complex chemical process” at its labs in the Netherlands and Bulgaria, police said in a statement.   

A video released by police showed a machine crushing cardboard boxes to a pulp, which was then pressed in another container to extract the cocaine.    

Police seized one tonne of cocaine in Bulgaria in January, which the Spain-based gang is suspected to have smuggled into Europe.    

The drug was infused in over 6,600 cardboard boxes containing limes and pineapples that arrived in Greece from Colombia.

Spanish police said they were led to the ring when they started to investigate the “illegal activities” of Colombian doctor Mauricio Vergara, who owns a beauty clinic in Madrid and is famous for having helped Maradona lose weight.   

Vergara was arrested in 2002 for drug trafficking in Colombia, while Maradona has undergone rehabilitation for cocaine abuse.    

The ring is suspected of having used Vergara's clinic in Madrid as its “centre of operations,” a Spanish police source told AFP.   

Congo, who retired from football in 2009, was released after being questioned by the police.

He acknowledged having traded in emeralds with some of the other suspects but denied any wrongdoing.

“I am innocent, I have absolutely nothing to do with the sale, manufacture or anything that has to do with cocaine,” the 43-year-old Colombian told Spanish television station La Sexta on Tuesday night.



Exfootballer known as 'Kokearrested in Spain for running drugs ring