Milan

Italian police bust gangs that used dogs as drugs mules

Animals were killed to extract drugs after arriving

Italian police bust gangs that used dogs as drugs mules

Milan, March 19 - Police on Tuesday arrested 75 people across northern Italy and in Rome in relation to alleged international drug trafficking, including via the use of dogs as drugs mules, and other crimes. The suspects, minors and adults of Latino origin, are thought to belong to 'padillas', or gangs, operating in Italy with alleged links to south American drugs cartels. They could now face charges of criminal association, drug trafficking and illegal weapon possession. Investigations show that the gangs used big dogs - St Bernards, Great Danes, Labradors, French Mastiffs and Italian Mastiffs - as drug mules, making them ingest around 1.25 kg of pure cocaine before departure and then killing them to extract the drug upon arrival. Some 50 dogs are thought to have been used in this way.

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