Colombia police nab Spanish man, 78, with cocaine in his stomach

BOGOTA Wed Feb 5, 2014 6:39pm EST

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BOGOTA (Reuters) - Colombian police said on Wednesday they had arrested a 78-year-old Spaniard at the airport with cocaine in his stomach, the oldest foreigner ever caught in the South American nation on charges of drug-trafficking.

A "nervous" Jose Molla Martinez aroused the suspicion of anti-drugs officers upon arrival at Bogota's international airport for a flight to Barcelona, and an x-ray found 400 grams of capsules containing cocaine, the police's anti-narcotics unit said.

Martinez is now in a Bogota prison facing trafficking charges after having the capsules removed in hospital due to the risk of intoxication from leakage.

"Jose Molla Martinez becomes the oldest foreign citizen caught in Colombia serving as a human courier," a statement from the unit said.

An 82-year-old Colombian was caught a decade ago, it added.

Cocaine trafficking is a major source of funding for Colombia's leftist FARC guerrillas but Peru is now the biggest producer in the region.

(Reporting by Peter Murphy; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

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