Brazil: Arrested Drugs Mule Used ‘Genuine’ Irish Passport: UPDATED

16 Sep

NEWS UPDATE:

Suspects accused in Peru-to-Jersey drug ring case
Enlarge The Jersey Journal Jose F. Castro, 34, of Belleville, is believed to have held the “proprietary” conversion formula and recently traveled from Peru to convert a shipment of cocaine, prosecutors say. Using the technique, the cocaine “gel” was transformed into a quality powder cocaine, Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio said. Suspects accused in Peru-to-Jersey drug ring casegallery (10 photos)

Suspects accused in Peru-to-Jersey drug ring case Suspects accused in Peru-to-Jersey drug ring case Suspects accused in Peru-to-Jersey drug ring case Suspects accused in Peru-to-Jersey drug ring case Suspects accused in Peru-to-Jersey drug ring case

The international drug ring that moved millions of dollars worth of cocaine from Peru to Hudson and Essex countiesdid it by converting the drug into liquid form and disguising it as lotions, shampoos and other items, prosecutors say.

“This is the first time that we have seen this type of cocaine smuggling,” Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio said today, a day after six of the accused appeared in court via videolink from the Hudson County jail in Kearny.

The ring, he said, may have moved as much as several hundred pounds of cocaine into the counties.

“It was a sophisticated drug smuggling network and it took a sophisticated joint investigation to take it down,” DeFazio said.

A 16-month probe led to this week’s arrest of 18 people, including three Kearny men. In addition, police seized two kilos of cocaine valued at $150,000, a handgun, and $30,000, DeFazio said.

The ring had made trial runs and deliveries from Peru to “hubs” in the United States over several months to perfect its methods, DeFazio said. Members worked to avoid detection by using the elaborate method of chemically masking the cocaine for shipment via airliners, boats and mail, DeFazio said.

One of the suspected leaders, Jose F. Castro, 34, of Belleville, is believed to have held the “proprietary” conversion formula and recently traveled from Peru to convert a shipment of cocaine, DeFazio alleged.

Using the technique, the cocaine “gel” was transformed into a quality powder cocaine, he said.

DeFazio said that to his knowledge none of the shipments was discovered through U.S. Customs enforcement inspections due to the chemical masking technique.

The investigation was triggered by information received by the prosecutor’s office and that led to surveillance, DeFazio said.

“We partnered with Homeland Security when we realized the breadth, the international scope of this operation,” DeFazio said.

Other agencies involved included the Newark, Kearny and Harrison police departments.

Peter T. Edge, special agent in charge of ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations in Newark, concurred with DeFazio and said such joint efforts will continue.

“Using our unique, global investigative tools, HSI will continue working together with our law enforcement partners to identify and dismantle drug trafficking organizations to keep illegal drugs from being distributed throughout our communities,” he said.

The Kearny residents charged are Luis Rios, 43, of Elm Street; Jesus Tarazona, 50, of Oakwood Avenue; and Alfredo Lazol, 46, officials said.

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IRISH customs officials have uncovered a new form of cocaine-smuggling after detecting liquid cocaine pellets packed inside a smuggler’s body.

They have also discovered that cannabis is being trafficking through “swallowers” by an eastern European gang on flights from Spain.

The developments come as police at an airport in Brazil caught an Irish passport holder, identified only as PBK, who had ingested almost 1kg of cocaine in capsules.

Scans of his body show how his entire intestines were packed with 72 pellets of the drug.

The 20-year-old man was trying to board a flight from Sao Paolo to Brussels when police stopped him.

Brazilian police suspect he is Nigerian and using a forged Irish passport.

Customs officers here warned swallowers were taking a huge risk.

“It’s very dangerous. If the pellets burst they are dead — even if it’s just one, because the purity is high,” said a source.

He said they had seen a rise in swallowing this year and recently uncovered their first case involving liquid cocaine.

The Customs officer also said cannabis was now being smuggled this way.

He said the average quantity of cocaine swallowed is about 1kg in 100 pellets, each the size of a cocktail sausage. Customs once caught a man with 120 pellets. A kilogramme of cocaine is worth €70,000 in Ireland.

www.garda.ie
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The Department of Foreign Affairs now believes the Irish passport carried by the man arrested carrying drugs in his stomach in Brazil is genuine.

Police in Brazil released handout image

Police in Brazil released handout image

The Department of Foreign Affairs now believes the Irish passport carried by the man arrested carrying drugs in his stomach in Brazil is genuine.

However checks are being carried out by the Department to verify whether the man is the legitimate holder of the passport.

The Brazilian police had released a colour x-ray of the man’s stomach showing a large number of bags of cocaine in his stomach.

Police in Sao Paolo‘s Congonhas airport were alerted after noticing the man’s nervous behaviour.

They estimated the drugs would have been worth up to €150,000.

Keywords:  brazil, drugs, cocaine, irish, arrested, sao paolo

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