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Drug smugglers hide cocaine in 1,000 bags of rice for the poor

Traffickers planned to ship the rice to Brazil first, en route to Europe, but police derailed their plans.

Image: Shutterstock/nipastock

CREATIVE DRUG SMUGGLERS in Argentina fused rice with cocaine and tried to ship nearly 1,000 bags to Europe marked as donations for a UN food programme in Africa, police said today.

Authorities seized 920 bags of the special rice in the city of Rosario, north of the capital Buenos Aires, and arrested the gang behind the unusual ruse.

Drug traffickers planned to ship the rice to Brazil first, en route to Europe, but police derailed their plans.

Experts said that the shipment would have hidden 20-30 kilos (44-66 pounds) of cocaine.

“Most likely, this was a test run. And if it had gone through, they would have followed through with larger volume,” customs chief Guillermo Michel told reporters.

Seven Colombians, four Argentines and a Guatemalan have been arrested for trafficking and possible money laundering, he said.

“This is a new one,” Michel said, adding that authorities would have to adapt their search strategies.

© – AFP 2015

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