Tags: women | Brazil | drugstrafficking

Foreign Women Smuggle Drugs in Brazil

Monday, 21 December 2009 09:19 AM

The number of foreign women detained for drug trafficking in Brazil in the past three years has soared.

In a small room in Sao Paulo's main international airport, police officers rip open four books found in the suitcase of a Dutch passenger arrested while trying to board a flight to Europe.

Carefully concealed inside what appear to be academic texts, and wrapped in a variety of coverings, is 4kg of cocaine.

Brazil sits between other South American nations where the drug is widely produced, such as Colombia and Bolivia, and profitable markets for the drug dealers in Europe and South Africa.

Not surprisingly the country's airports receive a lot of unwelcome passengers.

Police at Guarulhos airport in Sao Paulo say several months ago they successfully disrupted a gang that was using cargo planes to smuggle drugs out the country.

There were more than 60 arrests, and the authorities say it seems to have forced drug traffickers to focus on alternatives such as using drug couriers.

In the past three years, the number of foreign women detained for drug trafficking has risen 253%.

This is starkly evident in Sao Paulo's Carandiru jail where, as well as the Brazilian inmates, there are more than 400 women from more than 60 countries.

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Monday, 21 December 2009 09:19 AM
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