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Cocaine disguised as toner seized in Colombia

September 8, 2015

Authorities in Bogotá seized over two tonnes of cocaine that had been dyed black and packaged as toner powder.

Drug sniffer dog Mona and the cocaine in toner powder seized at Bogotá’s El Dorado airport (Credit: John Vizcaino/Reuters)

Drug sniffer dog Mona and the cocaine in toner powder seized at Bogotá’s El Dorado airport (Credit: John Vizcaino/Reuters)

Wall Street Journal and the Daily Mail reported on the cocaine seizure by authorities in Bogotá at the El Dorado airport, with the tonne of drugs dyed black and registered as toner powder. The drugs were set to be shipped in 48 boxes of cargo heading to Sinaloa in Mexico, a region “home to a prolific drug cartel”.

Both news sources stated that a drug sniffer dog, Mona, detected the drugs in the boxes at the airport, and “as soon as the black powder tested positive for cocaine”, Colombian authorities alerted their counterparts in Mexico, who found a similar amount of dyed cocaine at Mexico City’s airport. This had also been shipped from Bogotá a few hours before, and Mexican police said another recent bust at the Mexican airport had found cocaine “camouflaged in in 40 sacks of black zinc oxide”.

The Colombian police stated that they “still need to extract the cocaine alkaloid from the toner powder in which it was hidden to determine its final weight”, with Colombia “the largest supplier of cocaine to the US” through delivery to Mexico and sale through drug cartels. No arrests have been made at this time, and police “wouldn’t say on which airline the illegal cargo shipment had been stashed”.

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