Man dies on flight after swallowing 246 packets of cocaine, officials say

By Christopher Brito

/ CBS News

A man traveling from Colombia to Japan died aboard an AeroMexico flight after he swallowed hundreds of cocaine packets, Mexican prosecutors announced in a statement Sunday. An autopsy revealed the 46-year-old Japanese passenger's death was caused by a drug overdose.

The prosecutor's office in Sonora said the AeroMexico flight was heading to Tokyo after a Mexico City stopover on Friday when a Japanese man identified as "Udo N." began to suffer convulsions mid-flight, at around 2 a.m. local time. The airliner sought an emergency landing in Hermosillo, Sonora. Less than a half hour later, upon arriving, medics declared the passenger dead.

⭕️ Autopsia revela que fueron 246 envoltorios de narcóticos en el cuerpo del pasajero de origen japonés, lo que le…

Posted by FGJE Sonora on Sunday, May 26, 2019

State prosecutors ordered an autopsy which found 246 baggies of cocaine, about one inch long and less than half an inch wide, in the man's intestines and stomach. According to prosecutors, the man died from cerebral edema as a result of the drug overdose, likely after one of the bags broke.

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The individual showed no other possible causes of death, officials said. Further tests are being done to examine the man's overall health.

The 198 passengers later continued with their flight to Japan, prosecutors said.

The man's death is reflective of the global demand for drugs and the drastic lengths taken to smuggle them worldwide. In the U.S., agents with the Drug Enforcement Agency have reported seeing a slight uptick in the number of migrants being utilized as drug mules as they desperate seek ways to pay off smugglers.

First published on May 28, 2019 / 3:17 PM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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