October 6, 2003
Two dogs used to smuggle cocaine fell ill when the packages of drugs inside their stomachs burst during a flight from Columbia, Dutch police said on Sunday.
Police at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport said the labradors each had two kg (4.4 pounds) of cocaine surgically attached in their stomachs. During a stop-over at Schiphol on the way to Britain, the labradors were brought to a veterinarian.
"The veterinarian initially gave them medication but they only got worse. Then surgery was performed and the drugs were discovered," a police spokesman said.
He said an investigation by Dutch and British authorities resulted in the arrest of seven people in Britain last week.
British police confirmed they had arrested seven for drug smuggling, but declined comment on whether dogs were involved.
Two men and one woman from Britain were charged with an attempt to import cocaine, while the remaining suspects were bailed pending further enquiries.
The Schiphol police spokesman said to his knowledge it was the first time Dutch airport police had seen animals used to smuggle drugs.