Dutch woman attempting to smuggle 12 kilos of cocaine arrested in Peru’s Jorge Chavez International Airport

A 38-year old Dutch woman was arrested in Peru’s Jorge Chavez International Airport on Thursday, after officials found 12 kilos of cocaine allegedly tucked away in her luggage, state news agency Andina reported.

Alexandra de Kreek was first spotted by behavior-detection officers. Pioneered by Israeli airport security, behavior detection involves picking apparently suspicious people out of crowds and asking them questions about travel plans or work while their faces, body language and speech are being studied.

De Kreek allegedly intended to smuggle the cocaine to Spain.

Most drug mules, or ‘burriers’ as they are called in Peru — a fusion of “courier” and “burro,” or donkey — are Latin American. But a significant number are European.

Trapped by a snail-paced legal system, most accused drug couriers are locked up for years awaiting trial, facing drug trafficking sentences that range anywhere between five and 15 years. There they face horrific conditions, exposing them to corruption, drugs, prostitution, often rat-infested cells, overcrowding and few basic facilities. Prison time is hardest on prisoners who have no relatives or friends to supply basic items such as toiletries or reading materials.

So far this year, seventy-nine foreigners locked up in Peruvian jails – mainly on charges of drug trafficking – have petitioned Peru to serve the remainder of their prison terms in their home country.

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