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Dogs used as drug mules to Italy

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Dogs used as drug mules to Italy
The dogs were dismembered by drug traffickers. Photo: Ann Gordon/Flickr
18:18 CEST+02:00
South American drug gangs in Milan have been using dogs to smuggle cocaine from Mexico to Italy, the police said on Tuesday after an operation that found at least 48 dogs had been killed to retrieve the drugs.

The animals were forced to swallow plastic packets containing the drug before being sent to Italy on flights that usually landed at Linate airport in Milan.

The packages were wrapped in black vinyl tape to shield them from X-ray checks at the airports.

The drug traffickers then dismembered the dogs.

A court on Tuesday ordered that 49 people arrested in the operation to face trial under a fast-track procedure, a police spokesman in Milan told AFP.

They are all alleged members of South American "pandillas" ("drug rings") that used the dogs.

There were outraged reactions from Italian associations for the defence of animals that expressed their support for police involved in the operation.

This cruel smuggling method often ends up killing the dogs before they get to their destination as even a minimal leak of the cocaine can be fatal to the animals.

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