The police arrested an 81-year-old woman at an airport near the Colombian city of Medellin for wanting to smuggle 3 kilos of cocaine into Spain in a wheelchair. The woman stood out because, according to the authorities, the frame of the wheelchair looked strange. The means of transport was also provided with a remarkably fresh and not yet dehydrated layer of paint.
Irene Mesa de Marulanda said after her arrest that she knew nothing about the white powder in the wheelchair. Police chief Carlos Rodríguez is investigating whether the story of the older woman is correct. Mesa de Marulanda responded to her arrest in tears. “I have not been in this chair for very long and have not noticed anything strange about it,” she emphasized after her arrest. After the wheelchair was seized, the woman received a replacement copy.
According to Rodríguez, it is already the fourth time in a year that border controls at airports in Colombia and Spain arrest the elderly with drugs. In July another Colombian man was arrested at Barcelona airport who had stuck a package of cocaine under a wig with a market value of around 32,000 dollars. The smuggler caught the authorities’ attention because he acted remarkably nervously while the tousled hairpiece he was wearing under his hat was unrealistically large.
“Most stupid smuggler ever”
The older man, who was described by international media as “the worst and most stupid drug smuggler ever”, had just had a flight from Bogota (Colombia). There he apparently somehow escaped the attention of border controllers. “The inventiveness of drug smugglers knows no boundaries,” said the Spanish police in photos of the man who was arrested. “They are mocking us.” More details about the Colombian were not disclosed. His identity is unknown because he is made unrecognizable on the images.
Spain has been a relevant transit country for years for drugs from Colombia destined for European trade. Last year, more than 100 kilos of passenger cocaine were seized at Barcelona airport alone. According to the Spanish police, smugglers are becoming more creative to get the stuff across the border. In recent years it has been found in hollowed out fruits, breast implants, plaster for limbs, shoe soles, walkers, wheelchairs, but also in wigs and hairpieces.