A corporal belonging to the Guardia Civil was arrested by his comrades, accused of being a part of a drug-running gang.
His ‘job’ was to make sure that certain suitcases sent from South America were not stopped and checked. The ‘special’ cases were registered to a passenger who doesn’t actually get on the flight.
Suspicions were aroused last year so a police operation was mounted in August 2018 to investigate the affair in conjuction with the US DEA.
The corporal worked at Madrid Airport (Adolfo Suárez-Barajas) and was tasked with inspecting baggage, but he was doing precisely the opposite – making sure that they got through security checks without a hitch.
Consequently, Corporal F.L.M.P. was arrested last Tuesday together with 18 other people with Colombian, Dominican and Spanish nationalities. Also arrested was his 45-year-old Colombian wife.
The police operation bagged 236 kilogrammes of cocaine, two pistols and a rifle, frequency jammers, 60,000 euros in cash, diverse computer equipment and several mobiles.
The Modus operandi was for the drug to be sent from Colombia in a suitcase, checked in but not accompanied. When it got to Madrid the corporal would make sure that it got through the controls and was collected by a gang member.
Editorial note: it is very unusual for bagage to be allowed on board if the person that it corresponds to doesn’t actually get on. Sometimes everybody has to get off and identify his or her bags if there is more baggage than passengers because terrorists have used this method to put bombs on board. However, the Colombian drug cartel obviously had their end sorted out to guarantee that the baggage got through.