Page last updated at 21:32 GMT, Wednesday, 3 June 2009 22:32 UK

Cocaine suitcases seized in Chile

Cocaine (File pic)
Cocaine had been blended with plastic to make the suitcases

Police in Chile say they have arrested a woman bound for Spain who was carrying suitcases made from - rather than filled with - cocaine.

Officials pulled the woman aside and decided to search her bags when she acted nervously, reports said.

Their suspicions were further aroused when they found the two bags were heavier than their contents.

The black suitcases were made from a mixture of pure cocaine and plastic and each weighed more than 20 kilos (44lb).

The cocaine, which was later extracted by authorities using a chemical process, was reported to weigh up to 15 kilos.

"In this case, the suitcases were the drug," police inspector Leandro Morales was quoted as saying.

The 24-year-old Argentine woman carrying the bags had stopped in the Chilean capital, Santiago on her way from Argentina to Madrid.

She initially said she was going to visit friends on holiday, but later confessed to smuggling drugs, Mr Morales said.

She would have received a payment of $5,000 (£3,070) if she had delivered the suitcases, he said.

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