The Associated Press
Oslo, Norway - A smuggler swallowed 3.5 pounds of cocaine to avoid
detection but was caught in southern Norway nevertheless, the customs
service said Monday.
Per Emil Wikoeren, head the Customs Region Southern Norway, said
the man, posing as an asylum seeker, had swallowed the cocaine in 160
"That is a Norwegian record and we have found nothing in our
databases to indicate that anywhere in this world has anyone
swallowed 1.6 kilograms (3.5 pounds)," he told state radio network
The man, originally from Nigeria and in his 20s, arrived from
Madrid at the small airport near the southern Norway city of
Kristiansand in late May.
Wikoeren declined to estimate the value of the cocaine. The
customs service withheld information about the find until now to
protect the investigation.
"There were things that resulted in us becoming interested and the
longer we continued the more sure we were that something was wrong,"
The suspect, whose name was withheld in keeping with Norwegian
practice, declined food or water while he was being questioned.
"That further strengthened our suspicions," he said. "We also know
this smuggling method is often used when traveling by air."
When the man was X-rayed, hospital personnel were stunned by the
images showing bags of cocaine in his stomach. It took three days
before they all passed safely out of him and were recovered.
"It was a terrible risk. If any of these packages had leaked it
would have resulted in death," said Wikoeren. "He said he spent hours
swallowing the packages."
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Wikoeren said the man's asylum request was denied and he's being
held a refugee center near Kristiansand, 150 miles south of Oslo,
while police investigate the case.