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COCAINE

Colombia nabs Spain’s oldest ever ‘drug mule’

A 78-year-old Spanish senior citizen has earned the dubious distinction of becoming the oldest drug mule ever busted in Colombia.

Colombia nabs Spain's oldest ever 'drug mule'
Barcelona native Jose Molla apparently decided that being on the wrong side of the law was worth the risk. File Photo: Ashraful Kadir

Barcelona native Jose Molla apparently decided that being on the wrong side of the law was worth the risk — until he was busted last week at El Dorado international loaded with 27 capsules of cocaine in his stomach, police said on Wednesday.

The arresting police unit stated: "Jose Molla Martinez becomes the oldest foreign citizen caught in Colombia serving as a human courier."

But Molla still needs more experience if he wants to take the oldest-ever title: an 82-year-old Colombian was caught ten years ago.

It is not very common for cops to find the elderly working as mules.

But police said Molla looked "nervous" as he tried to smuggle out the illegal drugs. They took an X-ray and found him internally packing 400 grams of coke.

Now he's in Bogota's not necessarily cozy La Picota prison — hardly the sunny Spanish retirement Molla may have had in mind.

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DRUGS

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.

 

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Exfootballer known as 'Kokearrested in Spain for running drugs ring

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