BOGOTA, Colombia -- Colombian police on Friday said they had arrested two men at an airport in Medellin after discovering they were smuggling $80,000 in cash hidden in their stomachs.
Authorities say the men swallowed the dollars wrapped in latex, much like some drug smugglers hide cocaine and heroin.
A Colombian citizen was taken into custody on Sept. 8 after arriving on a flight from Costa Rica. Authorities say he had seemed nervous and later admitted swallowing the money, which was all in $100 bills and separated into 40 latex-covered packets, each of them about an inch in diameter.
Police took the man to a clinic in Medellin and gave him laxatives that forced him to pass the packets in his stool.
A second man, this one carrying Venezuelan papers, was arrested on Thursday after arriving from Costa Rica with cash hidden in his stomach.
It was not clear if the money was to be used in a drug transaction.
The two men have told police they are businessmen and said they didn't know each other. Authorities said they could be charged with money laundering. Their names were not released.
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Earlier this year, Colombia police <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/19/drug-smuggling-pigeon_n_811044.html" target="_hplink">captured</a> a carrier pigeon trying to fly into a Bucarmanga jail with marijuana and cocaine paste strapped to its back. Carrying a package with 40 grams of marijuana and 5 grams of a paste containing cocaine, the bird -- which police believe had been trained by inmates or accomplices -- appeared to be unable to successfully clear the prison walls.
In 2009, Spanish police<a href="http://articles.cnn.com/2009-03-06/justice/spain.leg.cast_1_cocaine-police-leg?_s=PM:CRIME" target="_hplink"> arrested</a> a man arriving at Barcelona's airport from Chile after determining that the cast on his fractured left leg was made of cocaine, CNN reported. The 66-year-old man had an actual fracture of two bones below the knee, but the police suspect that he, or accomplices, may have intentionally fractured it, so that the cocaine cast could be applied.
Perhaps they should call it a case of "Merry-Juana." A German man <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/08/marijuana-christmas-tree-_n_793946.html" target="_hplink">faced</a> drug possession charges after local police discovered a six-foot-tall marijuana plant in his home that had been decorated with twinkling Christmas lights in late 2010.
In 2006, CNN <a href="http://articles.cnn.com/2006-02-01/world/drug.pups_1_heroin-seizures-puppies-dea-spokesman-rusty-payne?_s=PM:WORLD" target="_hplink">reported</a> that a two-year investigation into a Colombian heroin ring netted more than 65 pounds of drugs, resulted in the arrests of more than 20 people and saved the lives of some drug-smuggling Labrador retrievers. Ten wayward pups were found during a raid on a Colombian farm in 2005, and six of them were carrying more than 3 kilograms (6.6 pounds) of liquid heroin in their stomachs.
In 2009, the Mexican navy <a href="http://articles.cnn.com/2009-06-17/world/mexico.drug.sharks_1_mexican-navy-cocaine-frozen?_s=PM:WORLD" target="_hplink">smelled</a> something fishy the southeastern port of Progreso, and their intuition paid off. When the inspectors zeroed in on a shipment of sharks, they found black bags containing rectangular packets filled with cocaine inside the frozen fish.
In 2006, a 25-year-old Australian woman was <a href="http://uneasysilence.com/archive/2006/06/6833/" target="_hplink">charged</a> with attempting to smuggle heroin into the country a week after she was found to be carrying 329 drug-filled condoms in her stomach. The woman was intercepted on suspicion she was carrying drugs internally by customs officers at Sydney airport as she came off a flight from Singapore.
In 2008, former England cricket player Chris Lewis was <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/dec/09/chris-lewis-cocaine-drugs" target="_hplink">charged</a> with attempting to smuggle cocaine with a street value of more than 200,000 pounds into Britain. The 40-year-old was arrested along with an alleged accomplice on Dec. 8, 2008 after border control officers at London's Gatwick airport found four kilograms (nine pounds) of the illegal drug in liquid form in fruit tins in a baggage that had arrived from the Caribbean island of St Lucia.
In 2006, Texas police <a href="http://www.clickorlando.com/news/9514444/detail.html" target="_hplink">reportedly</a> found about 168 grams of cocaine inside a can of Pringles. The cocaine was ingeniously made to look like the actual Pringles crisps.
In 1993, drug enforcement agents at Miami's airport<a href="http://www.elistmania.com/juice/10_creative_drug_smuggling_schemes/" target="_hplink"> reportedly</a> seized nearly 36 kilograms of cocaine wrapped in condoms and stuffed in Boa constrictors. The snakes had been imported from South America, and were still alive when they were found. There were over 312 snakes about 1.5 meters in length. The cocaine was actually found by mistake when one of the snakes appeared to have an abnormal bulge.