A suspect swallowed nearly $50,000 in cash in a failed attempt to smuggle the funds out of Colombia, officials said Monday.
Bogota airport police said they X-rayed the suspect because he was acting nervous while preparing to board a flight for Lima, Peru.
The photo showed dozens of latex-wrapped packets inside his stomach and police assumed it was drugs, since such a smuggling technique is used by traffickers.
But as the suspect passed the packages from his body, police discovered they were filled with cash — $47,500.
“We find drugs inside the stomachs of smugglers all the time, but this is the first time we’ve ever found dollars,” the head of Bogota’s airport police, Col. Jorge Luis Vargas, told The Associated Press.
Passengers leaving Colombia can carry up to $10,000 in cash without having to declare it. Police say new anti-money laundering laws have made it more difficult for drug traffickers to send and receive cash, forcing them to adopt the same methods used to smuggle drugs.
Vargas said interrogations of the suspect indicated the money was probably going to be used to pay for a drug shipment.