Woman arrested after being caught with a prosthetic pregnancy belly full of cocaine.
File this one under “weird.” Tabitha Leah Ritchie, 28, of Canada, was arrested in Columbia earlier this week when she attempted to get on a flight to Toronto from Columbia’s Bogota’s International Airport with a fake belly full of cocaine strapped to her body. Ritchie had been approached by a female police officer who saw her giant belly and asked her how many months along she was. Ritchie said she was seven months along, but then became aggressive, casting suspicion her way. Soon, the authorities were questioning her and she was quickly taken into custody. Police discovered she was carrying five pounds of cocaine inside of her belly prosthesis.
Colonel Esteban Arias Melo, deputy director of Colombia’s police anti-narcotics section explained, “[The Canadian] didn’t like the question, which made the official suspicious. Instinctively, she then very delicately touched the lady’s belly, realizing it was too hard and extremely cold.” Upon realizing that something was very wrong with the scenario, the policewoman called for assistance.
Fake Pregnancy Belly Full of Cocaine Not Cheap
The fake belly was a realistic-looking prosthesis, the same kind used for filming movies. Those types of fake body parts don’t come cheap; a pregnancy belly prosthesis can cost up to $500. However, the cocaine Ritchie was carrying inside was worth a whopping $60,000. With that kind of potential profit, the fake belly to carry the cocaine seems like a pittance.
The Bogota International Airport has had its fair share of drug traffic pass through; so far during this year alone, 150 people have been arrested for carrying drugs. All together, Columbian police say, 874 foreign people are currently doing time in Columbian prisons for illegal drug activity.
Besides Fake Belly Prosthetics, What Other Methods Are There of Smuggling Cocaine?
Drug smugglers have a tendency to be very creative when figuring out ways to bring drugs from one country to another. Of course, there are the typical methods such as hiding the drugs in body orifices, but there are actually some shocking ways that might seem as though they would escape detection. Such is the case with a woman who actually stuffed real breast implants full of cocaine and then underwent surgery to install them into her chest. This is incredibly risky and the bags, had they burst, would have caused a horrible, painful death, especially with three pounds of cocaine so close to the woman’s heart. However, she was apprehended and the bags of cocaine were removed before it got to that point.
When it comes to getting drugs into the United States from Mexico, cannons of all varieties and catapults are quite popular, as are ramps which are built for the purpose of driving a car over the border. Two ramps are built on either side of the border wall and an SUV is driven up one side and down the other. Neither of these methods is very subtle though, and numerous people have been apprehended trying these types of tricks.
Cocaine smugglers will try any kind of vehicle to move drugs, including boats, helicopters, submarines (yes, submarines!), small airplanes, and even wheelchairs.
The officers who patted down Ritchie felt her fake belly full of cocaine and were quick to realize “that’s no baby!” and now she’s facing a lot of jail time. She won’t be returning to Toronto anytime soon.
By: Rebecca Savastio