An accused drug mule is ‘lucky to be alive’ after allegedly smuggling half a kilogram of cocaine into Australia in a package which exploded in his stomach.
The 37-year-old man arrived at Brisbane Airport from Los Angeles on Monday night, allegedly making it through customs with at least 500g of the drug.
But after falling ill, he took himself to a nearby chemist where staff immediately called an ambulance, Seven News reported.
The man tried to leave hospital before police arrived, but doctors told him he would die without emergency treatment.
‘He is lucky to be alive, it is extremely dangerous,’ Dr Andrew Smirnov from the Queensland Drug Research and Education Centre said.
‘If that quantity is absorbed into their stomach, that’s too much for the body to handle.’
The man is now in an induced coma and has undergone surgery to remove the pellets allegedly containing the cocaine from his stomach.
He remains under police guard and the Australian Federal Police is investigating, but charges are yet to be laid.
The AFP confirmed it was probing the incident, but declined to comment further when contacted by Daily Mail Australia.
Dr Smirnov told Seven that cocaine use in Australia is becoming more common, fuelling the demand for traffickers to bring the drug into the country.
‘The cliche around cocaine use has been true, it’s sort of a white-collar drug for people who’ve got money, but it is becoming more widespread,’ he said.
Source: Daily Mail Australia