Saturday 18 November 2017

Irishman held after €4m drugs swoop in Venezuela

Tom Worden

AN Irishman was behind bars last night on suspicion of trying to smuggle €4m worth of cocaine out of South America.

Police in Venezuela named the man as John Twell (49), who was stopped at Maiquetia International Airport in Caracas as he tried to board a flight to Madrid.

Armed police say 33 kilos of cocaine wrapped in 24 silver foil packets were found inside two suitcases allegedly belonging to Mr Twell.

Mr Twell was questioned before being handed over to Venezuelan State prosecutors. If convicted, he would face up to 10 years in prison.

The notorious Los Teques prison, outside Caracas, is reputed to be one of the world's most dangerous jails.

There were no further details available last night about where in Ireland John Twell may be from, or if he is still resident in Ireland.

The Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed Mr Twell has so far not sought any consular assistance from its nearest embassy in Mexico.

Irish Independent

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