Operation Toupee: Man arrested in Spain with cocaine under wig

A Colombian man was arrested at Barcelona airport with half a kilo of cocaine hidden under his wig, Spanish police said Tuesday.

Operation Toupee: Man arrested in Spain with cocaine under wig
The hair peice was rather obvious. Photo: Policia Nacional

The man attracted officers' attention because he was “considerably nervous” and his wig was of “disproportionate size”, police said in a statement.   

Officers questioned the man and found a “perfectly-sealed package taped to his head”. It contained 503 grammes (1.1 pounds) of cocaine worth over €30,000 ($34,000).

In what police have dubbed “Operation Toupee”, the man was arrested at Barcelona's El Prat airport, Spain's second busiest, after arriving on a flight from Bogota at the end of June.

Spain, with its historic and linguistic links to South America, is an important gateway for cocaine to Europe, mainly from Colombia.   

Smugglers often resort to creative methods to get drugs past Spanish customs.

In recent years, police have found cocaine inside breast implants, hollowed-out pineapples, a wheelchair cushion, a plaster cast encasing a man's broken leg, and a 42-piece crockery set.

READ ALSO Narcopisos: 'Drug flats' blight the heart of Spanish cities

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Spain arrests 11 suspected jihadists in Melilla and Granada

Moroccan and Spanish police have dismantled a jihadist cell suspected of links to the Islamic State group, officials said Tuesday.

Spain arrests 11 suspected jihadists in Melilla and Granada

The operation led to the arrest of 11 people in raids on Tuesday morning: nine in the Spanish enclave of Melilla on Morocco’s northern coast, and another two in the nearby town of Nador, according to a Moroccan police statement.

Spanish security sources said 10 people had been arrested in Melilla and another in the southern Spanish city of Granada.

The Moroccan police said the two suspects held in Nador, aged 34 and 39, were remanded in custody and that mobile phones and a computer had been seized.

The detainees were suspected of “promoting extremist ideology” online “in order to recruit people in terrorist organisations”, the same source said.

Morocco and Spain officially revived their security cooperation in April after mending fences following a year-long diplomatic row over the Western Sahara.

The Moroccan police regularly announce operations against jihadist cells, and reports having arrested more than 3,500 people in relation to “terrorism” since 2002.