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back to article Spanish airport cops seize cocaine-packed Bulgarian airbags

A 20-year-old Panamanian woman was cuffed at Barcelona Airport earlier this week for packing over a kilo of Bolivian marching powder in two Bulgarian airbags. The unnamed alleged mule caught the attention of cops after disembarking from a flight from Bogota. When questioned as to the reason for her visit, she offered "vague …

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FAIL

Brilliant idea. Lamentable execution.

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Unhappy

Open wounds!?

I suppose that's a cheaper way of doing it, but, dear god, that's horrible. I wonder if this woman was coerced into doing this.

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Unhappy

Re: Open wounds!?

Agreed, how desperate do you have to be to agree to this kind of butchery?

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Unhappy

Re: Open wounds!?

Another reason not to do cocaine. This stuff's not exactly fair trade.

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Thumb Up

Recently, in the classified ads in Bogota

"Visit us for an el cheapo boob job! Quickly done near airport. PLUS you get a free flight to Barca where some qualified doctor will do post job inspection."

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"Another reason not to do cocaine. This stuff's not exactly fair trade."

Another reason for legalising it?

I mean it seems to be available despite best efforts to prevent its distribution and this sort of thing at least would drop out of the process if trade was legalised.

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@Lord Voldemortgage

Yes, but without this sort of thing El Reg's new coverage would be missing something...

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Childcatcher

Would it though?

Cigarettes are legal and there is still a concerted effort to smuggle them, in the UK at least. If it were legal it would be taxed. Taxes could raise prices above current market rates, although obviously smuggling is also pricey and the risk increases prices too, so maybe it would be cheaper.

If this sort of thing gives someone an edge, maybe it would still continue.

I don’t know. I’ve really only got Ben Elton’s High Society to go on as research material, so maybe I should just change track and make boob jokes.

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@Lord Voldemortgage

>this sort of thing at least would drop out of the process if trade was legalised.

No it wouldn't. Tabacco and alcohol are perfectly legal in the UK yet some still smuggle those products into the country.

In other countires prostituition is, if not legal, more than tolerated yet women are still trafficked and held captive to provide that service.

Making something legal has no bearing on whether there will be a thriving black market for that product, it is purely dependent on profitability. If drugs can be sold cheaper than an "official" price and a profit can still be made then smuggling will continue.

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@ChrisW

"Tabacco and alcohol are perfectly legal in the UK yet some still smuggle those products into the country."

Not in their mutilated tits.

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Re: @ChrisW

Ah, I see, your whole argument for legalising cocaine is to prevent smuggling by means of surgical implants.Silly me, I thought you were referring to the general argument that legalisation would stop smuggling, reduce prices and improve quality then all the addle headed addicts could live in a state controlled utopia.

However, I think you'll find that even if that were the case then as I pointed out it would be profitabilty that would determine whether smuggling continued, not the mere act of legalisation and that would still include by means of mutilation. You might be comfortably off or have a things which you consider beyond the pale but there will always be someone willing to do what you wouldn't consider for very little money.

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Meh

Legalising it wont make it free.. so junkies will still need to steal to buy it and in a supply/demand market wont the sellers just reduce their prices to below the legal market rate?

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The largest costs in illegal drugs come from three things:

How difficult it is to produce

How far production centres are from the consuming market

How difficult to smuggle the drugs

However, this does not control street price, only the import price. Street price is largely governed by the users - how much they are prepared to pay, and the difference between the street price and the import price is the profit of the dealer supply chain. Being a 'good' dealer is maximising what your clients will pay for the product.

Coca is produced in South America reasonably easily, but requires a lot of processing, is a long way from the target markets and is difficult to smuggle. This makes the import price very high, and the street price.

In order to legalize cocaine, you would first need deals with people to produce 'legal cocaine'. This would be legitimately produced cocaine in Colombia (NB: The US puppetColombian government will not go for this), then legally imported into the UK. The import price of this would be extremely low compared to that of illegal drugs.

The huge difference between the two allows for a lot of taxation. Attempts to undercut the 'legal' price would not work - the legal price could be adjusted lower than it costs to import into the UK, making cocaine import/dealing no longer worth it - unless you cannot get 'legal' cocaine.

You would then have people complaining that legal cocaine is too cheap, and everyone is buying it.

It's a pipe dream. Legal cocaine, I'm not that interested and will never happen, legal pot should happen in the next 15 years. The thing is, all these drugs are easily available to anyone that wants them, they should be regulated for quality and taxed.

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Happy

Shared Heritage

Nose Ajax, that's the best yet!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Shared Heritage

Well by the time it hits the street most of it is Ajax.

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TRT
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Paris Hilton

In news reports on other websites...

the police are quoted as saying that "they've never come across breast implants like these before".

An unfortunate turn of phrase.

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Coat

Well...`

That puts a bit of a spin on "funbags"

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Well...

It's a good job they didn't burst otherwise she'd have been completely off her tits.

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Coat

Re: Well...

I just can't believe she got busted.......

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Anonymous Coward

And the main reason she caught the attention of the cops

Was that she'd come from Bogota.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And the main reason she caught the attention of the cops

Not necessarily. Quite a lot of cocaine enters into Europe via BCN and the Civil Guard there are pretty good at "reading" people.

They would not necessarily know where she came from. Mules do tend to stand out, often before they even land.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And the main reason she caught the attention of the cops

Mules? You mean they implanted it in her ass?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And the main reason she caught the attention of the cops

Mules do tend to stand out, often before they even land.

There is apparently also a quiet collaboration between airline staff and the men with the rubber gloves - if you piss off a stewardess enough she can suggest you may need, umm, "in depth inspection" and the guys on the ground will happily give you the once over.

It's probably a good thing they don't make latex boxing gloves :)

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State Surgery Consent?

Not in any way sanctioning drug trafficking, and this is horrible exploitation of the woman involved.

I wonder though did they have to get consent to perform surgery on the woman (presumably the danger was explained to her), and what would have happened if she said no?

Creates something of an ethical minefield no?

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Re: State Surgery Consent?

To obtain consent they likely promised her a lifetime supply of the stuff- without discussing the mode of delivery or the length of her life.

Drugs addiction and those who batten off it are disgusting.

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OMG!

"the suspect had a bloody bandage under each breast, and when they were removed..."

So they just cut off her tits, right there in the airport???

I thought the Spanish Inquisition was disbanded in 1834...

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Re: OMG!

Assuming you're not joking: RTFA.

The wounds were already open. The bandages were holding them closed in lieu of any sutures.

This is seriously horrible.

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Re: OMG!

Probably the best thing they could do for her for her health.

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Re: OMG! @Richard81

"Assuming you're not joking..."

And why, if it's not a secret, did you assume that? Is there a presumption of seriousness on the Reg forums? :-)

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Holmes

Implanting things to get them smuggled? not THAT surprising really, fairly obvious...

I suspect people have transported more than that in their bodies before....

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Anonymous Coward

Bad, but it could be worse

If she'd had explosives in there instead. You thought airport security now was unpleasant...

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Re: Bad, but it could be worse

You thought airport security now was unpleasant...

.. wait until someone spreads a rumour about nut implants (a *real* "nut" job, but I digress)..

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Coat

Re: Bad, but it could be worse

If she'd had explosives in there instead.

Would that be a boom job?

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Re: Bad, but it could be worse

Given the demographics of those most likely to be carrying explosives in such a way, I would have thought the signs of such surgery themselves would be even more suspicious to security staff.

I mean, I don't know the figures for the number of cosmetic surgery operations carried out on women in fundamentalist Muslim states, but I suspect it is a very small number.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bad, but it could be worse

>I mean, I don't know the figures for the number of cosmetic surgery operations carried out on

The number depends on whether or not you define female circumcision on cultural grounds as cosmetic.

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Pint

It Seems We Have To Move With The Times

So it would seem that the Bulgarian Airbag unit should bow out gracefully to give way to the new Columbian Cokebag.

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Re: It Seems We Have To Move With The Times

Columbia <> Colombia

Though probably there's a well trodden Bolivian marching route from South America to NY

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Black Helicopters

Tinfoil at the ready

...does this represent an excuse to allow more strip downs and "fondlings" in the future, under the guise of "security"?

The whole thing is pretty damned sick if you ask me.

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Headmaster

Re: Tinfoil at the ready

* and I mean sick as in the old skool definition of "gross, horrid, disgusting".

Not sick in the "cool" way it's now used.

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I think the girl is lucky

To have been found out. Judging by description of her "post-op" condition, she risked, at the very least, losing her breasts and probably would have died from sepsis before too long. I suspect that she must have been in extreme pain all the time and I cannot imagine what could have induced her to agree to courier the drugs that way other than it must have been even more horrific than her "operation".

Which, frankly, brings me to another but related matter - it is the high retail price of drugs that makes it economic for the stuff to be transported across continents and still support the whole drug mafia in the countries of origin. And the only explanation for the price levels is that these drugs are illegal.

Keeping drugs illegal keeps the prices high, which keeps the druglords happy.

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Keeping drugs illegal keeps the prices high...

it does make you wonder if the seemingly pointless effort of the drugs agencies is there to do just that - keep the prices high for the benefit of those that make the law and have easy access to diplomatic bags.

Another way to screw the drugs trade would be to serious limit bank transfers to places where the money cannot be traced but they don’t seem to want to pass laws to do that either...

Not a good conspiracy theory but not as easy to knock down as most.

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Re: I think the girl is lucky

Indeed, I think she was rather lucky. But extreme pain? Maybe not so much. She had plenty of pain killer right with her and used some of it already: "the woman had traces of nose Ajax in her system".

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Meh

Re: I think the girl is lucky

Well, if she's succeeded in sneaking out of the airport, they would have been taken out at about the same time by the controlling mob. They weren't a retirement fund or the equivalent of a cash-stuffed sock under the mattress.

I think she's unlucky in any case; release her to Colombia after a token sentence (if that) and she'll be back with the gangsters who sent her, but now they've just lost a lot of money on her and will demand her to make it back.

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Anonymous Coward

Actually this technique was on at least 2 episodes of the USA TV series 'Nip Tuck' some years back.

I don't know if they invented it or just used it in a plot-line.

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Anonymous Coward

At least the cocaine would ease the pain

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Ewww

As the title states:

Ewww.

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