Latin America & Caribbean

Argentina foils plot to smuggle cocaine in Spain in skis

Cocaine bag Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Investigators say the operation that found the modified skis seized 24kg of cocaine

Police in Argentina say they have foiled a scheme to smuggle cocaine into Europe by hiding the drug in skis.

Five Argentines and one Spaniard have been detained and 14kg of cocaine seized in seven pairs of skis.

The cocaine had allegedly been compressed into tablets that were stuffed into specially built equipment.

Last year, British police found about 400kg of cocaine hidden in a frozen beef container that had been imported from Argentina.

The Argentine Security Secretary, Sergio Berni, said the gang was also involved in selling ecstasy to well-off clients in the capital, Buenos Aires.

"They've invented a home-made system. They'd create some kind of plate to attach to the underside of the skis and there they put the drugs. Each ski carried one kilo. They had seven pairs that would be sent to Spain," Mr Berni told reporters.

The group had been under investigation for about six months, police said.

The operation seized a total of 24kg of cocaine and between 40,000 and 50,000 pills of ecstasy.

The group was allegedly preparing to fly to the Spanish capital, Madrid, when the authorities made the arrests.