Drug ring brings cocaine shoes to Spain: 50,000 euros a pair
Spanish police said Friday they have smashed a drug ring that smuggled in Colombian cocaine shaped as designer women shoes, at a price of 50,000 euros ($69,000) a pair.
Police swooped on the 34-year-old suspected Colombian gang leader and his 24-year-old wife after tracking them to the picturesque Basque seaside town of Gorliz, northern Spain, they said in a statement
"This investigation revealed that those detained had been bringing in cocaine shaped as women's shoes for two years," the Basque police said.
The shoes were dubbed by the gang as 'Manolos', police said, a reference to top Spanish shoe designer Manuel "Manolo" Blahnik Rodriguez, whose high-heel shoes are priced in the thousands of euros.
But the price of the cocaine shoes was steep even for Manolo shoes -- 50,000 euros a pair, they said.
Police said the gang leader and his wife would find passengers to bring in the cocaine from Cali, Colombia, by various methods including the fake designer shoes.
Later the drugs would be sold in the Basque town of Bilbao and surrounding areas by three accomplices, a Spaniard aged 29 and two Colombians aged 28 and 38, they said.
Drugs officers arrested six suspects in a series of raids that wrapped up Tuesday after they discovered the gang chief was about to receive a final shipment before returning to Colombia with his wife.
They arrested the gang leader and his wife, the three accomplices including the two Colombians who were caught after a motorway car chase, and a 27-year-old Colombian passenger at Barcelona-El Prat airport.
The airport passenger from Bogota was found with three kilograms (6.6 pounds) of cocaine hidden in video games, loudspeakers and a wireless Internet router, police said.
© 2011 AFP