76-year-old claimed dietary need for fruits used to smuggle drugs into Italy
updated 4:00 a.m. CT, Fri., May 1, 2009
ROME - The elderly man claimed he needed the oranges in his suitcase to keep up his vitamin C level, but Italian police soon realized the "C" stood for cocaine.
Customs officers in Rome on Thursday arrested a 76-year-old Dutch man who tried to smuggle in more than 13 pounds (six kilograms) of cocaine packed into oranges that had been emptied of their pulp.
The man arrested on international drug trafficking charges at Rome's Leonardo da Vinci airport had arrived from Buenos Aires, Argentina and said he was on his way back to the Netherlands after a vacation.