Close To 40kgs Of Cocaine Found On Plane Carrying Brazil President's G20 Entourage
The Brazilian President has been left red-faced after one of his airforce officers was allegedly caught with 39 kilograms of cocaine.
The man -- named as Sgt. Manoel Silva Rodrigues by local media -- was on his way to the G20 summit when he was allegedly caught with the huge haul during a stop-over in Spain on Tuesday.
He told the Civil Guard at Seville airport that the drugs, divided into 37 separate blocks, were pieces of cheese, according to Spanish news outlet ABC.
The accused had been tasked with accompanying President Jair Bolsonaro home when the G20 summit wrapped up in Japan this week, but is now behind bars, facing a drug trafficking charge.
The President, who has promised zero tolerance to drugs, was flying on a separate plane at the time of the airforce officer's arrest.
He tweeted his frustration.
"I demand immediate [sic] investigation and severe punishment of the person responsible for the narcotic material found on the FAB plane," the President wrote in Portuguese.
"We will not tolerate such disrespect to our country".
It comes weeks after Bolsonaro threw his support behind tough new penalties for drug traffickers, including longer prison terms and involuntary rehabilitation.
Speaking to reporters in Brazil on Wednesday, Brazilian Vice President Hamilton Mourao labelled the accused airman a “qualified drug mule."
READ MORE: Cocaine, Xanax And Ketamine Found In Shrimp
“It’s obvious that, given the amount of drugs he had on him, that he didn’t just buy them around the corner and take them with him,” he said according to CNN.
This wasn't Rodrigues's first official task, he had reportedly accompanied three Brazilian presidents during 29 trips in the past.
After the annual gathering of world leaders, Bolsonaro is expected to take a different route home.