Moment British man is arrested at Colombian airport while trying to fly to London with 23 kilos of cocaine worth more than £2 million in his suitcase
- The man was arrested at Alfonso Bonilla Aragon International Airport in Bogata
- Authorities said he was stopped and searched for his ‘suspicious attitude’
A British man has been arrested at a Colombian airport after attempting to fly to the UK with more than £2million worth of cocaine in his luggage.
He was detained as he attempted to board a flight to the Colombian capital Bogota before continuing on to London.
Local authorities said he was stopped and searched after his “suspicious attitude” alerted police and a specialist sniffer dog named Maximo.
Video footage was released overnight showing the unnamed Briton in a white T-shirt with a backpack on his back and the dog at his side as his suitcase was opened in front of him and the cocaine discovered.
A police officer was heard telling him through a translator, “Now we’re going to do a test called a narcotic test,” before cutting open one of the taped blocks of cocaine that lay on a table near the open briefcase.
The arrest took place at Alfonso Bonilla Aragon International Airport, an international airport between Palmira and Cali, Colombia’s fourth-busiest airport by passenger volume.
Local authorities said he was stopped and searched after his ‘suspicious attitude’ alerted police and a specialist sniffer dog named Maximo
Ever Gomez, commander of the Valle del Cauca police station that covers the airport, said: ‘We found 16 packages containing 23 kilograms of cocaine hydrochloride in his luggage.
“He was put in jail after appearing before a judge.”
The cocaine the Briton was carrying would have had a potential value of more than £2 million if cut and sold at street level.
Local reports said authorities were now trying to determine if he had any ties to Colombian drug gangs.
Last June, a British man was arrested on suspicion of smuggling a kilo of cocaine strapped to his body from another Colombian airport. It is not known where in England he comes from.
Police detained him after he allegedly threw a package containing the drug into an airport toilet after seeing uniformed officers at a security checkpoint.
He was stopped and sniffer dogs were deployed to identify the contents.
Ever Gomez, commander of the Valle del Cauca police that covers the airport, said: ‘We found 16 packages containing 23 kilograms of cocaine hydrochloride in his luggage’
The cocaine the Briton was carrying would have had a potential value of more than £2 million if cut and sold at street level
Local reports at the time identified him as a British citizen and named him Russell Tamer.
The arrest took place at Simon Bolivar International Airport, the airport serving Colombia’s Santa Marta city, the capital of the Magdalena department.
His mugshot appeared in the Colombian national press and footage of him being paraded in front of photographers in a baseball cap, hoodie and shorts, with two officers on either side of him, was also published by the country’s media.
The outcome of the case was not immediately clear today.
The Peru Two, Michaella McCollum of Dungannon, Northern Ireland, and Melissa Reid of Lenzie, Scotland, were arrested on August 6, 2013 on suspicion of drug smuggling at Jorge Chávez International Airport, Lima, Peru, after their luggage was found to contain 11 kilograms of cocaine.
They initially claimed they were coerced by an armed gang, but subsequently pleaded guilty. On December 17, 2013, the couple was sentenced to six years and eight months in prison.
In early 2016, both women attempted to return to the United Kingdom.
McCollum applied for parole and was released on March 31, 2016, facing a maximum of six years in Peru.
In April 2016, Peruvian authorities agreed to expel Reid from the country.
She was released from prison on 21 June that year and immediately returned to Britain, arriving at Glasgow airport the next day.
McCollum returned to Europe two months later, arriving at Dublin Airport in Ireland on August 13, 2016. She later wrote a book about her experiences titled ‘You’ll Never See Daylight Again’.