A Brazilian Air Force officer traveling with President Jair Bolsonaro’s G20 contingent was arrested late Tuesday, after he was caught with 39 kilograms (roughly 86 lbs) of cocaine.
The officer was arrested in Seville, Spain when the back up plane traveling to Osaka made a stop-over, according to statement released by the Brazilian Defense Ministry.
“The Defense Ministry informs that, on Tuesday June 25th, an Air Force officer suspected of transporting narcotic substances was detained in the Seville airport in Spain,” the statement said. “We are investigating the facts and are launching a military police inquiry.”
The officer was identified as 38-year-old Sergeant Silva Rodrigues, according to CNN affiliate Record TV.
President Jair Bolsonaro, who was traveling on a separate plane, reacted to the arrest late Tuesday via Twitter. Bolsonaro said he asked the Defense Ministry to cooperate with Spanish authorities and that, if proven guilty, the officer will “be judged and convicted by law.”
Vice-President Hamilton Mourao told reporters in Brasilia Wednesday the officer was a “qualified drug mule.”
“It’s obvious that, given the amount of drugs he had on him, that he didn’t just buy them around the corner and take them with him,” Mourao told reporters on camera in Brasilia. “He was working as a qualified drug mule, let’s put it that way.”
Silva is currently being held by Spanish authorities and are holding him without bail, according to CNN affiliate Record TV.