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Colombian police thwart drug ‘mules’ who try to smuggle drugs on commercial flights

By Dialogo
October 29, 2014



As security forces in Colombia crack down on traditional drug trafficking routes, organized crime groups are increasingly trying to smuggle cocaine, heroin, and other illegal substances on commercial flights through the country’s airports. Narco-traffickers often use so-called “mules” – people who transport drugs by hiding them in their luggage or even ingesting them.

“With the use of this strategy, traffickers try to fool the authorities into thinking that they are just harmless families traveling abroad,” Colombia's Ministry of Defense reported in September. “They are people who do not generate suspicion.”

On October 20, Elena Beatriz García Ardila, 43, and her daughter Viviana García Ossa, 19, looked like ordinary travelers as they prepared to board a plane bound for Madrid at El Dorado International Airport in Bogotá.

But a routine search of their luggage revealed that they weren’t typical passengers. Nearly 21 kilograms of white powder was hidden inside the false bottoms of their luggage, discovered by agents of the Colombian National Police. When they tested the powder, their suspicions were confirmed.

“During the preliminary identification analysis, the substance tested positive for cocaine hydrochloride of a net weight of 45.85 pounds. The two women were immediately arrested and presented with charges of drug trafficking,” the police reported.

Between January 1 and October 21, security agents at El Dorado International Airport arrested 227 drug trafficking suspects and seized 515 kilograms of cocaine, which had a street value of about $12.6 million (USD).

Organized crime groups are employing a wide array of people to try to smuggle drugs. PNC agents have captured entire families, with young children, as they tried to sneak cocaine through the El Dorado International Airport. Security agents have also arrested older people, some who were in their 70s.

The majority of drug smugglers get on flights destined for Central America, which has emerged as a popular transshipment point for narcotics. Some drug mules board planes which go to Europe, where the price of cocaine is higher than it is in the United States.

In addition to hiding cocaine inside their luggage, some mules carry drugs wrapped in plastic in their stomach. This method is extremely dangerous for the mules, who could die if the wrapping ruptures.

Most of the suspected drug mules PNC agents have captured are Colombian. But security forces have also arrested alleged smugglers from other countries, including Mexico, Spain, Brazil, Australia, China, Chile, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Venezuela, Italy, the Netherlands and even Finland.


As security forces in Colombia crack down on traditional drug trafficking routes, organized crime groups are increasingly trying to smuggle cocaine, heroin, and other illegal substances on commercial flights through the country’s airports. Narco-traffickers often use so-called “mules” – people who transport drugs by hiding them in their luggage or even ingesting them.

“With the use of this strategy, traffickers try to fool the authorities into thinking that they are just harmless families traveling abroad,” Colombia's Ministry of Defense reported in September. “They are people who do not generate suspicion.”

On October 20, Elena Beatriz García Ardila, 43, and her daughter Viviana García Ossa, 19, looked like ordinary travelers as they prepared to board a plane bound for Madrid at El Dorado International Airport in Bogotá.

But a routine search of their luggage revealed that they weren’t typical passengers. Nearly 21 kilograms of white powder was hidden inside the false bottoms of their luggage, discovered by agents of the Colombian National Police. When they tested the powder, their suspicions were confirmed.

“During the preliminary identification analysis, the substance tested positive for cocaine hydrochloride of a net weight of 45.85 pounds. The two women were immediately arrested and presented with charges of drug trafficking,” the police reported.

Between January 1 and October 21, security agents at El Dorado International Airport arrested 227 drug trafficking suspects and seized 515 kilograms of cocaine, which had a street value of about $12.6 million (USD).

Organized crime groups are employing a wide array of people to try to smuggle drugs. PNC agents have captured entire families, with young children, as they tried to sneak cocaine through the El Dorado International Airport. Security agents have also arrested older people, some who were in their 70s.

The majority of drug smugglers get on flights destined for Central America, which has emerged as a popular transshipment point for narcotics. Some drug mules board planes which go to Europe, where the price of cocaine is higher than it is in the United States.

In addition to hiding cocaine inside their luggage, some mules carry drugs wrapped in plastic in their stomach. This method is extremely dangerous for the mules, who could die if the wrapping ruptures.

Most of the suspected drug mules PNC agents have captured are Colombian. But security forces have also arrested alleged smugglers from other countries, including Mexico, Spain, Brazil, Australia, China, Chile, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Venezuela, Italy, the Netherlands and even Finland.
This article is interesting, but I would suggest you also put in how long the sentence is for these crimes so that the people who try to do it,think twice Very good work, keep it up
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