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Cocaine ring at Mexican airport probed

MEXICO CITY, Oct. 4 (UPI) -- Federal police officers in Mexico are running a cocaine-trafficking ring through Mexico City's international airport, investigators in Mexico have been told.

The operation, informally known as the "galley cartel," involves flight attendants for Aeromexico airline and private security personnel at Benito Juarez International Airport, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

Two former screeners for an airport security firm reportedly have told investigators that federal police paid them $1,000 each time they allowed luggage with cocaine or cash to pass through inspection at Terminal 2.

The screeners were questioned in connection with the arrest of three Aeromexico flight attendants in December who arrived in Madrid with 300 pounds of cocaine in their luggage.

In August an Aeromexico co-pilot was arrested in Madrid on suspicion of attempting to smuggle 92 pounds of cocaine in his luggage.

So far no arrests have been made in Mexico but investigators have released a composite sketch of a federal police officer who may have paid for cocaine smuggling at the airport.

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

Since 1907, United Press International (UPI) has been a leading provider of critical information to media outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide.

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