Friday 18 October 2019

Brazil G20 trip airman had cocaine in suitcase


Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro. Photo: REUTERS/Adriano Machado
Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro. Photo: REUTERS/Adriano Machado

James Badcock in Madrid

A member of the Brazilian air force crew due to accompany President Jair Bolsonaro at this week's G20 summit in Tokyo has been arrested in Spain after being caught with a suitcase stuffed with cocaine.

The unnamed airman was on a back-up plane believed to have been carrying members of Mr Bolsonaro's security team, with the Brazilian leader heading towards Japan on another aircraft.

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During a security check when the Brazilian air force plane stopped over in Seville, the airman was found to have 39kg of cocaine in 37 bags inside a small suitcase.

"He didn't even try to camouflage it inside clothes," the Spanish newspaper 'El País' quoted a Guardia Civil police source as saying.

Mr Bolsonaro confirmed the arrest in a statement.

"I immediately ordered the defence minister to co-operate with Spanish police to establish the facts and co-operate with every stage of the investigation, and to launch an investigation by the military police," he said.

"There are around 300,000 men and women in the armed forces who are trained to uphold the highest principles of ethics and morality.

"If the airman is found to have committed a crime, he will be tried and convicted according to the law," he added.

According to the Guardia Civil, the airman has been remanded in custody in Seville, while an investigation is launched into the intended destination of the drugs. (© The Daily Telegraph, London)

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