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Fake priest smuggled drugs hidden in his Bible

By Alistair Dawber

Published 13/04/2015

An entire orchestra from Venezuela, a man dressed as a priest using the Bible to hide his stash and another who had cocaine in his false leg - all were among 364 people caught last year at Madrid airport trying to smuggle drugs, according to officials.

In total, those arrested by police over the 12 months were carrying more than a ton of cocaine, much of it from South and Central America.

Co Tyrone woman Michaela McCollum was imprisoned for more than six years after being caught smuggling £1.5m worth of cocaine out of Peru in August 2013 almost two years ago hidden inside food packets in their luggage.

But Spanish police say others are turning to increasingly ingenious methods. A small orchestra on a flight from Caracas might expect to have their instruments checked, but in a recent case, many of the musicians had been persuaded to swallow bags of cocaine.

The dog collar-wearing, would-be priest told police officers that he was en route to take part in a clerical conference. Further inspection brought an end to what had been a profitable career for a man who been transporting drugs - he was, of course, no more a priest than any of the other passengers on his flight.

Another man who was arrested had hidden about 2lbs of cocaine in his wig.

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