Private Jet Passenger Caught With 24 Suitcases Filled With Cocaine

A Spanish citizen has been detained at an airport in Brazil after federal police discovered that he had 24 suitcases filled with cocaine on a private jet.

The unnamed man, who was the only passenger onboard the plane at the time of the bust, was arrested by police on Wednesday after they searched his private jet that was headed to Brussels, according to Spanish newspaper El Pais.

After starting its journey to Europe from Sao Paulo earlier in the day, the plane briefly stopped at the Fortaleza International Airport in Recife, Brazil, to have immigration papers checked when federal officers searched it.

The suspect was filmed by police being asked to open one of the 24 suitcases, with the man eventually cooperating to reveal a pile of large packets stacked inside.

White powder was filmed coming out of a packet when slashed by an officer, and the federal police revealed that there were at least 50 packets of cocaine in each of the suitcases, with them totaling 1,304 kilograms, equivalent to one ton.

The man was then detained and questioned at the airport alongside four crew members, all of which are Turkish nationals.

Newsweek has contacted the Brazilian Federal Police for comment.

Wednesday's arrest came just a few months after several planes were seized in Brazil in a large operation against drug smuggling to Europe, according to El Pais.

In 2018, a scientific study that tested the water in some of the biggest cities inside the European Union crowned Barcelona in Spain as Europe's cocaine capital.

The study found that Barcelona, capital of the Catalonia region, goes through 965.2 milligrams a day per 1,000 residents, beating any other city that was surveyed.

In attempts to get past police investigations and raids, drug smugglers have been trying innovative methods to bring drugs into Spain and wider Europe.

In 2018, police in Spain discovered nearly 150 pounds of cocaine hidden inside carved out pineapples at Madrid's largest wholesale fruit and vegetable market.

Following the arrest of seven people between Madrid and Barcelona, the authorities revealed that the illegal drugs were transported in hollowed-out pineapples that were then filled with cocaine compacted into cylinders.

Then in March 2021, police in Spain seized a homemade submarine they believe was built to smuggle illegal drugs as part of a broader operation involving the European Union crime agency Europol.

Dubbed a "narco-submarine," the blue vehicle is 29.5 feet long and made of fiberglass and plywood, and was discovered in a warehouse in the city of Málaga.

The submarine is thought to have originated in Colombia, and the authorities believe it was designed to transport drugs, but had not yet been used for its intended purpose.

Spanish citizen busted on private jet
File photo of cocaine cut with razor blade on mirror. A Spanish citizen has been detained at an airport in Brazil after federal police discovered that he had 1,304 kilograms of cocaine stored inside 24 suitcases on a private jet. tlnors/iStock / Getty Images Plus