A Brazilian drug mule who used a wheelchair and leg-cast in an attempt to disguise her smuggling mission into Lisbon this week has seen all the careful planning go dramatically pear-shaped.
Problems with her papers caused the woman to be held up at immigration control, and then came the issue of her bogus leg-cast and Trojan Horse-type wheelchair.
Hidden inside the chair wheels and metal tubing police discovered over 2.3 kilos of cocaine.
It is the first time this kind of handicapped ploy has been used, says the country’s best-read tabloid Correio da Manhã – inferring that in future police will be scrutinising anyone rolling in heavily plastered to national airports from known drug-exporting countries.
As it was, the 40-year-old woman has been relieved of her elaborate cast and remanded in police custody pending a court hearing. She is charged with drug trafficking.
The volume of drug apprehended would have made up to 23,000 doses, says CM, valued at around 120,000 euros.
Meantime, police in Madeira are celebrating a much larger find – and one that was literally under their noses for days.
The yacht “Calma” was initially impounded last month as it travelled into the archipelago from Uruguay (click here).
Onboard, police discovered 122 kilos of cocaine, valued at 3.5 million euros, reports Lusa.
But this week, forensic examination of the Calma flagged another 217 kilos of the drug, hidden in the stern.
It’s a discovery that takes the case into the history books for being “one of the largest drug busts of all time in Madeira”, a PJ source has told Lusa.
Two crew members arrested in July remain on the island, awaiting trial for drug trafficking.