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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 February, 2005, 12:09 GMT
Argentina fires air police chief
Cocaine (generic)
The drugs were reported to have been packed into suitcases
Argentina has dismissed the head of the national airport police on the heels of an alleged drug trafficking scandal.

The government has taken direct control of the airport police after 60kg (132lb) of cocaine were reportedly found on a flight from Buenos Aires.

Spanish officials said they had found the drugs in two suitcases bound for the Argentine embassy in Madrid.

The Argentine defence minister, who is responsible for the airport police, admitted that something had gone wrong.

Defence Minister Jose Pampuro has ordered increased scrutiny of baggage passing through Argentina's Ezeiza International Airport.

The alleged cocaine incident is said to have taken place in September and came to light following an investigation by the Argentine newspaper Clarin.

Two other senior air police officials blamed for lax security at the airport have also been fired.

Two directors of the Argentine private airline on which the drugs were reportedly found have been arrested.

A company spokesman denied the firm had done anything illegal.

An investigation is also under way into how airport security tapes were wiped.

Country profile: Argentina
13 Nov 04 |  Country profiles
Timeline: Argentina
31 Dec 04 |  Country profiles

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