Saturday, September 15, 2007

Cuba deals a blow to international drug-trafficking at airports

Granma International

Havana. September 14, 2007

HAVANA, September 14 (PL).— From January 2003 until the end of June this year, Cuba has thwarted 35 international drug-trafficking operations at its airports and seized some 60 kilograms of drugs, reported press sources today.

As part of operation carried out by specialized forces at the Ministry of the Interior and the General Customs Service of the Republic, some 49 individuals representing 23 nationalities have been detained, reports a full-page article in Granma daily this Friday.

The feature writer continues that the thwarted operations highlighted the insensitivity of the organizers given that their usual modus operandi is the ingestion of allotropic substances, thus placing the lives of the so-called “mules” in danger.

The publication exemplified the case of a young Peruvian woman who was caught last August 9 carrying a cylinder in her vagina measuring 13.5 centimeters in length by seven centimeters wide containing 734 grams of cocaine.

Following her arrest, the woman – whose identity has not been revealed – confessed that she had been offered $1,000 to smuggle the drug.

In another case, the authorities prevented the entry of 108 grams of hashish concealed within a bag of toiletries in luggage that arrived from Spain. The passenger was subsequently detained inside the airport in Havana carrying 53.7 grams of hashish inside a tub of face cream.

The man, whose identity was not revealed either, faces a sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment.

Cuba has reinforced its systems of detection, improved training for its forces and acquired reliable equipment to uncover these operations in the face of an increase of drug-trafficking activity by air in the Caribbean region, the report underlined.

Translated by Granma International

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