A woman trying to smuggle 1,400 grams of cocaine out of Colombia in her breast implants got busted thanks to the “sagacity” of observant security officers, according to a police report.
Guadalupe Luin, a Mexican national, was pulled aside in Medellin’s international airport by officials who thought her enhanced boobs looked suspicious, Colombia’s anti-narcotics police said on Thursday. When officers questioned Luin about the motive of her visit to Colombia, she reportedly said she came to Medellin to get breast implants, but couldn't name the clinic where she had the procedure.
“The suspect voluntarily agreed to get an x-ray, which showed breast implants that had a different color than normal implants,” police said in a release.
Luin was then taken to a “specialized” clinic where her implants were removed; a test confirmed they were full of liquid cocaine.
“The amount of drugs carried could be worth $24,000,” police said.
Luin could now face between 4 to 12 years in a Colombian prison for drug trafficking. But she’s not the first woman to be caught trying to leave the country with breasts full of cocaine.
In June, a Honduran woman was arrested in Bogota’s international airport with 1,500 grams of liquid cocaine smuggled in her implants. And in August of last year, a Venezuelan woman was caught with cocaine breast implants in Madrid after arriving on a flight from Bogota.
These odd arrests occur as Colombia’s cocaine exports spike.
According to a report published recently by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Colombia’s cocaine production grew from 290 tons in 2013 to 442 tons last year, marking the first year that cocaine exports grew since 2008. The country’s coca crop grew by 44% in the same period, according to the agency, which monitors Colombia’s coca fields through satellite images.
Some experts think the resurgence of Colombia’s cocaine trade could be linked to the poor performance of Colombia’s economy, which slowed down significantly last year amid falling oil prices.
Others have attributed the growing cocaine trade to higher prices for the coca leaf in some parts of Colombia, and a slowdown in government eradication efforts. As the Colombian government and the FARC guerrillas engage in peace talks—including new proposals to tackle the drug trade—critics say the government has slowed down it’s manual and aerial eradication campaigns in areas controlled by the rebel group.
Officials also say that Mexican cartels are increasingly trying to set up distribution networks in Colombia. Most Colombian cocaine that makes it to the U.S. passes through Mexico and Central America. Presumably, not much of it gets there in breast implants.
Manuel Rueda is a correspondent for Fusion, covering Mexico and South America. He travels from donkey festivals, to salsa clubs to steamy places with cartel activity.