BOGOTÁ, Colombia – Colombian police said Monday they had arrested a family of four, including a teenager, who were together carrying 91 cocaine and heroin capsules in their stomachs.
The Colombian “drug mules,” who were on their way to the Dominican Republic, were carrying more than 3 kilograms (6.6 pounds) of the illicit drugs, police said.
The four suspects were arrested Sunday at the Cucutá airport, near the border of Colombia and Venezuela, before boarding a flight to Santo Domingo, via Panama.
The mother, 39, her 21-year-old son, 16-year-old daughter and their stepfather, 67, had obtained passports just four days earlier and “were traveling by plane for the first time, with light baggage, but pretending to go on a vacation,” police said in a statement.
All four were taken to a local hospital, where X-rays revealed they had 54 latex capsules of heroin and 37 of cocaine in their stomachs, 24 of which were in the teenager.
“A total of 2,077 grams of heroin and 1,227 of cocaine hydrochloride, worth up to $100,000 in Central America” were seized, the statement said.
The parents, who worked as street vendors, and the son, a mason, face trial. The daughter was put into the care of child protection services.
Police, who are attempting to identify the traffickers who supplied the “drug mules,” said the family had been recruited with offers of new clothes and money upon their return. Colombian police said they have arrested 138 drug mules trying to board international flights with capsules hidden in their bodies this year, including 35 foreign nationals.