LAGOS (Reuters) – Nigerian security services said they had recovered $111,000 in cash, wrapped up and swallowed by a member of a suspected smuggling ring.
Six suspects, including a bureau de change operator, were arrested and held in the commercial capital Lagos until one of them had excreted 74 tightly-wrapped packets of money, The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) said.
Another man was caught with $45,000 that he was about to swallow and take to Brazil with other members of the group, the agency added.
“They were placed under observation to excrete the wraps of money. There is strong suspicion that the money was from the proceeds of drugs sales, meant for further purchase of cocaine in Brazil,” said NDLEA spokesman Ofoyeju Mitchell.
“The illicit exportation of currency by ingestion is a new trend in circumventing money laundering legislation,” Mitchell added.
West African nations are often used as transit points by gangs moving drugs between South America and Europe.
The men were arrested in late August, but the agency only announced details of the operation on Thursday.
Authorities said they had been transferred to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and were still in custody.
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