Cimitarra: Police at a routine traffic stop in Colombia’s Santander region were shocked to discover a secret compartment in the ceiling of an ambulance, containing a haul of cocaine weighing over 200kg and an estimated street value over US$60mn.
Five suspects were apprehended in the vehicle, including drug traffickers dressed as nurses, doctor’s assistants and a medical practitioner. The ambulance used to smuggle the drugs was fitted with all the usual medical markings, and the driver was wearing a full paramedic uniform. The mastermind behind the crime is apparently a real doctor – Newshub reports that police arrested Edgardo Figueroa, a medical professional specializing in surgery and having worked at a municipal hospital. Figueroa was also a candidate for the position of Mayor in the city of Puerto Caicedo.
Unusual methods of smuggling are relatively common in Colombia, with traffickers building submarines to transport drugs, filling breast implants with cocaine and stuffing the abdominal cavities of dogs with drug bags.