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Officials: Money mules swallowed cash pills for drug gangs

BOGOTA — Authorities say Colombian and Mexican drug cartels have been trafficking money by recruiting young men and women to swallow thousands of dollars of U.S. bills wrapped in latex.

Colombia’s chief prosecutor announced Thursday that 27 people have been captured in a joint operation with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Investigators say criminal networks enlisted students and unemployed young adults to transport drug proceeds from Mexico to Colombia by ingesting latex capsules that each contained five $100 bills.

Officials say the cash mules typically ingested between 80 to 120 capsules, with some transporting a total of around $75,000.

Once they arrived in Bogota, they were taken to a hotel and held until they expelled all of the cash capsules and were paid about $1,500.

The Associated Press