A drug-sniffing dog led police from a Milan airport to find some 13 kilograms (about 30 pounds) of cocaine stuffed into the leather upholstery of a motorized wheelchair, which the user immediately stood up and was arrested, authorities said.
The specialist canine unit has been deployed to Malpensa airport in Italy to screen arriving passengers and their luggage following a flight from the Dominican Republic – after drug smugglers previously used the route – police said in a statement.
When a dog brought the traveler to the attention of officers, police first checked his luggage, which turned up nothing, but discovered the drugs after opening the upholstery of the wheelchair.
The passenger, a Spaniard who asked airport workers to help guide the wheelchair, then got up and walked unaided before being taken into custody, police said.
The passenger was taken to a local jail, where judicial authorities continued his detention pending investigation of the case, the statement said.
Officers said the 11 packets of cocaine, weighing 13.35 kilograms, could have made up 27,000 individual doses and had a street value of around $1.2 million.
New York Post