MADRID: A Colombian man was detained at Barcelona's international airport after half a kilo of cocaine was found hidden under an over-sized toupee, Spanish police said on Tuesday (Jul 16).
Arriving on a flight from Bogota, the man attracted police attention as he looked nervous and had a disproportionately large hairpiece under his hat. They found a "perfectly-sealed package taped to his head" with about 30,000 euros (US$34,000) of cocaine.
"There is no limit to the inventiveness of drug traffickers trying to mock controls," said the police statement on what has been dubbed "Operation Toupee".
The statement enclosed a photo of a middle-aged man - apparently still wearing the toupee though with his eyes blocked in the image - but gave no more details of his identity.
Over 100kg of cocaine were seized by Spanish police at the Barcelona-El Prat airport in 2018.
The Colombian was detained at the end of June.
Spain, with its historic and linguistic links to South America, is an important gateway for cocaine to Europe, mainly from Colombia.
Smugglers often resort to creative methods to get drugs past Spanish customs.
In recent years, police have found cocaine inside breast implants, hollowed-out pineapples, a wheelchair cushion, a plaster cast encasing a man's broken leg, and a 42-piece crockery set.