Cocaine 'cast' fails to fool Spanish police
The man, who had hobbled off a flight from Santiago, was carrying more of the drug in fake beer cans and two hollowed-out stools.Madrid -- Spanish police said Friday they had arrested a 66-year-old Chilean at the Barcelona airport after discovering his broken leg was supported by a "cast" made out of cocaine.
The man, who had hobbled off a flight from Santiago, was carrying more of the drug in fake beer cans and two hollowed-out stools.
"The man had a fractured leg and the 'plaster cast' that was immobilising it was entirely made from cocaine," a statement said. He "displayed an open fracture of the tibia and the fibula, and has been transferred to a clinic for an operation. Investigators are examining the possibility that these injuries were brought about voluntarily ... to facilitate trafficking through security checks."
Spanish police are particularly wary about so-called "hot flights" from South America and had their suspicions about this man, which proved to be well-founded.
In total, the Chilean had 4.85 kilogrammes (10.7 pounds) of cocaine stuffed in the cans, the stools and forming his would-be "cast," police said.
Spain is one of Europe's main points of transit for cocaine from South America, mostly from its former colony Colombia, the world's top producer of the drug.
The country has become the biggest consumer of cocaine in continental Europe and is one of the world's top users of the drug, according to a 2008 United Nations report.