Pubdate: Tue, 20 Apr 1999
Source: Associated Press
Copyright: 1999 Associated Press


RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AP)   Federal police seized 77 pounds of
cocaine  aboard a Brazilian Air Force cargo plane and are
investigating possible links  between military personnel and drug
traffickers, the Air Force Ministry said  Tuesday.

The drugs were found Monday on a Hercules C-130 bound for Palma de
Mallorca,  Spain, where it was scheduled to pick up spare parts for
Brazilian military  aircraft, the ministry press office said.

The plane departed from the Rio de Janeiro air base Sunday and made a
refueling stop in the northeastern city of Recife, where the drugs
were detected by drug-sniffing dogs. The pilot and eight crew members
were detained  pending further investigation.

The drugs were found in two suitcases, which the pilot told
investigators he  had received from a fellow officer based in Manaus,
capital of the jungle state  of Amazonas, according to an O Globo
newspaper report.

The pilot was asked to deliver the suitcases to an unidentified
individual in Spain, the newspaper said.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Derek Rea