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Soldier in Brazil’s president delegation arrested in Spain with cocaine

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Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro waves as he arrives at Kansai airport in Izumisano city, Osaka prefecture, on June 27, 2019 ahead of the G20 Osaka Summit. (Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP)

A soldier travelling with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s advance team for the G20 summit in Japan has been arrested in Spain after 39 kilogrammes (86 pounds) of cocaine were found in his luggage, Spanish police said Wednesday.

He was arrested on Tuesday after the Brazilian military plane he was travelling in made a stopover in Seville in southwestern Spain on its way to Japan, said a spokeswoman for Spain’s Guardia Civil police force.

“His suitcase contained only drugs,” she added.

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A court ordered Wednesday that the soldier, accused of drug trafficking, be held in preventative detention.

Bolsonaro, who has promised a tough stance on gangs which profit from drug trafficking, confirmed the arrest on Twitter on Tuesday, saying he had ordered Brazil’s defence ministry to cooperate with Spanish police.

“If the soldier is found to have committed a crime, he will be tried and convicted according to the law,” he added.

The summit of the Group of 20 major economies, the so-called G20, will take place on Friday and Saturday in Osaka in western Japan.


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