Spanish police arrest Brazilian airman with cocaine before president's stopover

Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro

The arrest was made when the plane in which the suspect was flying made a stopover at around 2pm at Seville airport in the south of Spain.

Spanish police officials have arrested a crew member of the Brazilian Air Force who carried three bags of cocaine on an advance military plane of Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil's president. "We will not tolerate such disrespect to our country".

The summit of the Group of 20 major economies, the so-called G20, will take place on Friday and Saturday in Osaka in western Japan.

He was part of the team that supports the entourage of President Jair Bolsonaro (PSL) on his trip to the G20 summit in Japan.

The Brazilian Defense Ministry said in its statement that it "condemned" the actions of the man and that it would work with the Spanish authorities on their investigation.


Also in a statement on Wednesday, the country's Vice-President, Hamilton Mourao, described the officer as a qualified drug mule.

Brazilian air force officials said Rodrigues was arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking.

The packets containing drugs were discovered when the backup aircraft made a transit landing in the Spanish city of Seville, elpais.com reports with reference to the sources familiar with the situation. He was working as a mule.

Further information provided in the Brazilian media indicates that Manoel Silva Rodrigues has since 2015, done at least 29 trips with presidential aircraft.

The news follows Bolsonaro having enacted a new drug policy the month prior to tough penalties for traffickers while requiring drug users to undergo rehabilitation and those who sell the drug to be subjected to longer jail sentences, the Guardian reported.

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