Moment British man is arrested at Colombian airport with 23 kilos of cocaine in his suitcase

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Moment British man is arrested at Colombian airport as he tries to fly to London with 23 kilos of cocaine worth more than £2million in his suitcase

  • The man was arrested at Alfonso Bonilla Aragon International Airport in Bogata
  • Authorities said he was stopped and searched after his ‘suspicious attitude’

A British man has been arrested at a Colombian airport after trying to fly to the UK with more than £2million of cocaine in his luggage.

He was held as he tried to board a flight to the Colombian capital Bogota before continuing to London.

Local authorities said he was stopped and searched after his ‘suspicious attitude’ alerted police and a specialist sniffer dog called Maximo.

Video footage was released overnight showing the unnamed Brit watching on in a white T-shirt with a rucksack on his back and the dog by his side as his suitcase was opened in front of him and the cocaine discovered.

A police officer could be overheard telling him through a translator: ‘Now we’re going to do a test called a narcotest’ before cutting open one of the taped-up bricks of cocaine laid out on a table by the open suitcase.

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The arrest happened at Alfonso Bonilla Aragon International Airport, an international airport located between Palmira and Cali which is Colombia’s fourth-busiest airport in passenger volume.

Moment British man is arrested at Colombian airport with 23 kilos of cocaine in his suitcase

Local authorities said the British man was stopped and searched after his ‘suspicious attitude’ alerted police and a specialist sniffer dog called Maximo

Ever Gomez, commander of the Valle del Cauca police department which covers the airport, said: ‘We found 16 packets containing 23 kilos of cocaine hydrochloride inside his luggage.

‘He has been remanded in prison after appearing before a judge.’

The cocaine the Brit was carrying would have had a potential value of more than £2million if cut and sold at street level.

Local reports said the authorities were now trying to establish if he had any connections with Colombian drugs gangs.

In June last year a British man was arrested on suspicion of trying to smuggle a kilo of cocaine strapped to his body out of another Colombian airport. It is not known where in the UK he is from. 

Police held him after he allegedly threw a packet containing the drug into an airport toilet after spotting uniformed officers at a security checkpoint.

He was stopped and sniffer dogs used to identify the content. 

Ever Gomez, commander of the Valle del Cauca police department which covers the airport, said: 'We found 16 packets containing 23 kilos of cocaine hydrochloride inside his luggage'

Ever Gomez, commander of the Valle del Cauca police department which covers the airport, said: ‘We found 16 packets containing 23 kilos of cocaine hydrochloride inside his luggage’

Local reports at the time identified him as a British national and named him as Russell Tamer.

The arrest took place in Simon Bolivar International Airport, the airport serving Santa Marta city in Colombia which is the capital of Magdalena Department.

His mugshot appeared in Colombian national press and footage of him being paraded in front of photographers in a baseball cap, hoodie top and shorts, with two officers either side of him, was also published by the country’s media.

It was not immediately clear today what the outcome of the case had been.

The Peru Two, Michaella McCollum from Dungannon, Northern Ireland, and Melissa Reid from 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 kilos of cocaine.

They initially claimed they had been coerced by an armed gang but subsequently pleaded guilty. On December 17, 2013, the pair were sentenced to six years and eight months’ imprisonment.

In early 2016, both women sought to return to the United Kingdom.

McCollum applied to be freed on parole and was released on March 31, 2016, with the prospect of having to remain in Peru for up to six years.

In April 2016 the Peruvian authorities agreed to expel Reid from the country.

She was released from prison on June 21 that year and immediately returned to Britain, arriving at Glasgow airport the following day.

McCollum returned to Europe two months later, arriving at Dublin airport in Ireland on 13 August 2016. She later wrote a book about her experiences titled ‘You’ll Never See Daylight Again’. 

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