In one of the latest attempts, authorities said two women hid cocaine under wigs while flying from Brazil to Spain, according to local reports. Though meticulously concealed, the ruse was unsuccessful, and the two suspects were recently arrested by authorities at the Madrid–Barajas Airport.
Officials said the two Portuguese women traveled separately from São Paulo with 1.2 kilograms (about 42 ounces) each stashed under their fake hair. The white powder, which drug testing later confirmed was cocaine, was secured in six pouches that were sewn into a black plastic cap.
The 18-year-old and 28-year-old were both arrested by Spanish police and accused of a crime against public health, Spanish news outlet ABC reports.
Authorities described the smuggling method as difficult to detect since the faux mane resembled real hair.
"The packages were perfectly adhered and did not stick out from under the wigs, which made the narcotics imperceptible," the Guardia Civil police and Spain's Interior Ministry said in a statement, according to the Agence France-Presse.
Two women from Guyana also tried to pull the same ploy in 2012 and attempted to smuggle a comparable amount of cocaine under their wigs into the United States. They were caught at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport after customs officers became suspicious and patted them down, feeling the bulge on their heads.