Colombia Stops Organization that Smuggled Cocaine in Breast Implants
By Julieta Pelcastre/Diálogo January 15, 2021
The Colombian Army, in coordination with the Office of the Attorney General, dismantled the narcotrafficking ring Los Cirujanos (The Surgeons), which recruited young women to smuggle cocaine into Europe inside their breasts. Authorities arrested nine criminals in different operations in the cities of Cali and Medellín.
The criminal organization “convinced women to transport the drug inside prostheses in their breasts and legs, to deliver it in Madrid, Spain, promising them job opportunities in that country.” The victims were sent on commercial flights from airports in Valle del Cauca and Bogotá, said the Office of the Attorney General on November 10, 2020.
The criminal organization “convinced women to transport the drug inside prostheses in their breasts and legs, to deliver it in Madrid, Spain, promising them job opportunities in that country.”
Among those detained are a surgical technician and a man posing as a doctor, who performed the surgeries in makeshift operating rooms in motel rooms that they rented for days, until the victims recovered. After the women arrived in the Spanish capital, they had their prostheses removed, also in improvised operating rooms lacking minimum safety measures, the Office of the Attorney General added.
Narcotrafficking networks implement many methods to smuggle drugs, hoping to go unnoticed at checkpoints, but authorities now discover them more frequently.
On November 15, the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo reported that, in more than three decades of work, the Colombian National Police has identified 1,486 methods of cocaine trafficking in ports and airports.
Some methods include the instrumentalization of people for drug transport, such as ingested (drug in the stomach) and introduced (in the anal and vaginal canal). Other common methods are hiding drugs in false-bottom suitcases, in food, wigs, elastic bands, orthopedic prosthetics, wheelchairs, tires, religious images, or veterinary products, according to the report.
For example, the Spanish Civil Guard dismantled a criminal organization that smuggled cocaine from Colombia to Barcelona. Officers arrested four people and seized 121 kilograms of cocaine hidden inside false bottoms in presses and industrial machinery, the Spanish Ministry of the Interior said on September 3.
On June 9, the Colombian Police found 4,928 kg of cocaine hydrochloride mixed with granulated rubber. The drug was intended to ship from the port of Buenaventura to Central America and later to Turkey, the Colombian newspaper El Universal reported.
In another seizure, Colombian security forces confiscated 468 kg of cocaine in the port of Santa Marta. The drug was hidden inside avocado seeds that were bound for Belgium, the Colombian news portal Semana reported on March 5.
Colombia continues to be the largest cocaine producer in the world, with some 154,000 hectares of active coca crops throughout the country, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime reported on its website on July 28, 2020.