A British citizen has been arrested in the city of Palmira, Valle del Cauca, after he attempted to smuggle 23 kilos of cocaine in his suitcase on a flight from Cali’s Alfonso Bonilla Aragón airport to Bogotá, and with a connection from the Colombian capital on Avianca to London’s Heathrow.
The passenger had hidden inside his grey hardshell suitcase 16 packets containing “23 kilos of cocaine hydrochloride” confirmed colonel Ever Gómez, police chief of Valle del Cauca.
The maximum weight allowance for each checked-in suitcase on an international flight is 23 kilos.
In a video taken at the time of the Briton’s arrest inside the airport, members of the national police are seen puncturing several of the taped-bricks in the company of a sniffer dog named “Maximo.” The smuggler was accompanied inside the inspection room by a representative of the airline Avianca.
The German shepherd is credited for detecting the illegal narcotics inside the foreigner’s suitcase. The Briton, seen in a video with his backpack, observed as the police conducted a ‘narcotest’ on the contents of his luggage. “The arrested person has been handed-over to the competent authorities and reprimanded in a penitentiary,” confirmed Colonel Gómez.
According to El País newspaper, the Briton was stopped by the airport police inside the terminal after showing a “suspicious attitude.” The 23 kilos of cocaine have an estimated street value of US$5 million.
Local authorities are trying to establish what connection the British citizen had to a drugs cartel given the amount of cocaine seized.