German pensioner caught in cocaine caper

DDP/The Local
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German pensioner caught in cocaine caper

A 71-year-old German pensioner has been charged by prosecutors in Düsseldorf for attempting to smuggle massive amounts of cocaine into the Rhineland.


Court officials on Tuesday said the man and his accomplices in the Netherlands and Sweden tried to import around 200 kilogrammes of the drug from Peru in late 2007.

The cocaine, with an estimated street value of €20 million ($29.4 million), was packed among 27 tonnes of chemicals. But after stops in the Bahamas and Antwerp, Swedish custom officials in Gothenburg became suspicious after discovering the customs seals had been faked.

They replaced the cocaine with recycled paper and sent the containers with tracking devices on their way to Neuss, where the pensioner tried to pick it up before being arrested. He now faces 15 years in jail. The trial will start August 25, and a verdict is expected by mid-September.


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