A member of the Brazilian air force crew due to accompany President Jair Bolsonaro at this week’s G20 summit Tokyo has been arrested in Spain after being caught with a suitcase stuffed with cocaine.
The unnamed airman was on a back-up plane believed to have been carrying members of Mr Bolsonaro’s security team, with the Brazilian leader heading towards Japan on another aircraft.
During a security check when the Brazilian air force plane stopped over in Seville, the airman was found to have 39 kilograms of cocaine in 37 bags inside a small suitcase.
“He didn’t even try to camouflage it inside clothes,” the Spanish newspaper El País quoted a Guardia Civil police source as saying.
Mr Bolsonaro confirmed the arrest in a statement on Tuesday night.
“I immediately ordered the defence minister to cooperate with Spanish police to establish the facts and cooperate with every stage of the investigation, and to launch an investigation by the military police,” he said.
“There are around 300,000 men and women in the armed forces who are trained to uphold the highest principles of ethics and morality. If the airman is found to have committed a crime, he will be tried and convicted according to the law.”