Rabat- Doctors at the Ibn Rochd University Hospital in Casablanca extracted 4.85 kilos of cocaine pellets from the stomachs of four airplane passengers arrested earlier in October.
The four suspects, all of sub-Saharan descent, had swallowed 309 pellets of cocaine, according to a statement by the General Directorate of National Security (DGSN).
The Moroccan security agency said that the suspects were arrested on October 7 when they landed in Casablanca airport, coming from Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Two of the suspects are Nigerian, the third is Guinean, and the fourth is South African.
Following their arrest, the drug mules were placed under custody for further investigations.
DGSN said the arrest is yet another example of the efforts it is making to fight drug smuggling.
In recent months several smugglers had been arrested by the Casablanca airport police. In June a Brazilian national aged 22 tried to smuggle 2.5 kilos of cocaine. The suspect also came from Sao Paulo and was heading to Lyon, France.
Smuggling drugs in the stomach might turn out a dangerous gamble. In some cases, “drug mules,” also called “body packers,” face the danger of the bags of drugs bursting while they are still in their stomachs.
Such an incident could be fatal. In March 2016 a body packer died in Barcelona after the drugs he was smuggling inside his body ruptured.
However, the practice has become very common among drug smugglers. International online media outlet Vice cited a Spanish doctor who said that “body packers can carry up to 200 packs on each trip, with each pack containing between two and 50 grams of a substance.”
These pack are often “wrapped in yellowish latex tubes” around three centimeters long. In case one of those wrappers breaks and the drugs spread throughout the body, the drug mule faces the potentially fatal risk of increased blood pressure.