Latin America & Caribbean

Colombia police catch drug-smuggling pigeon

Close up of pigeon as policeman tries to take the package off of his back
Image caption Pigeons have been used before by inmates

Colombian police say they have captured a carrier pigeon that was being used to smuggle drugs into a prison.

The bird was trying to fly into a jail in the north-eastern city of Bucaramanga with marijuana and cocaine paste strapped to its back, but did not make it.

Police believe the 45g (1.6oz) drug package was too heavy for it.

The bird is now being cared for by the local ecological police unit, officers said.

"We found the bird about a block away from the prison trying to fly over with a package, but due to the excess weight it could not accomplish its mission," said Bucaramanga police commander Jose Angel Mendoza.

"This is a new case of criminal ingenuity."

The pigeon is thought to have been trained by inmates or their accomplices.

Police said carrier pigeons had been used in the past to smuggle mobile phone Sim cards into the jail.

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