Japanese man dies mid-flight with stomach full of cocaine

Emergency services personnel removing the body of the passenger from the plane, in Hermosillo, Sonora.
Emergency services personnel removing the body of the passenger from the plane, in Hermosillo, Sonora. PHOTO: FGJE SONORA/FACEBOOK

MEXICO CITY (AFP) - A Japanese man with 246 packets of cocaine in his stomach and intestines died mid-flight on his way from Bogota to Tokyo, authorities said Monday (May 27) in northern Mexico, where the plane made an emergency landing.

The 42-year-old man, identified only as Udo "N," began having a seizure after the commercial flight from the Colombian capital made a stopover in Mexico City, said the prosecutor's office for the state of Sonora.

"Flight attendants noticed a person suffering convulsions, and requested permission to make an emergency landing in Hermosillo, Sonora," it said in a statement.

"When the plane landed at 2:25 am on Friday, paramedics boarded it and declared Udo 'N' deceased." An autopsy found the man had swallowed 246 packets of cocaine, each measuring one by 2.5 centimetres.

The cause of death was swelling of the brain caused by a drug overdose, prosecutors said.

The Aeromexico plane, which was carrying 198 other passengers, resumed its flight to Japan after the body was removed and international protocols were carried out, said the statement.

Transporting narcotics inside human "mules" is a popular smuggling tactic with drug cartels.