Brazil catches Irish man with gut full of cocaine
- 16 September 2011
- From the section Latin America & Caribbean
An Irish man has been arrested in Brazil with almost a kilo of cocaine hidden in his gut, police there say.
The 20-year-old suspect was detained as he tried to board a flight from Sao Paulo to Brussels.
Officers said they became suspicious because he looked nervous. When questioned, he admitted having swallowed sealed capsules of cocaine.
He was rushed to hospital, where he expelled 72 capsules containing 830g (1.8lb) of the drug.
The hospital released a scan showing the man's gut filled with the oval-shaped capsules.
The suspect is being held on suspicion of international drug smuggling.
If found guilty, he could face five to 15 years in prison.
Brazil is a major transit point for smugglers moving South American drugs into Europe's lucrative drugs market.
Neighbouring Bolivia, Colombia and Peru produce almost all the world's cocaine.
Every year hundreds of people - known as mules - are arrested trying to smuggle the drug on international flights.
As well as the danger of being caught, smugglers who hide drugs inside their bodies risk having the capsules burst, with possibly fatal consequences.