Social Worker Allegedly Smuggled Cocaine in Fake Pregnancy Belly

Sep 12, 2013 1:39pm
HT Tabitha Leah Ritchie drugs ml 130912 16x9 608 Social Worker Allegedly Smuggled Cocaine in Fake Pregnancy Belly

                                                                (Image Credit: Policia Nacional De Colombia)

A Canadian social worker flying from Colombia was arrested for allegedly attempting to smuggle cocaine in a false belly meant to make her look pregnant. Tabitha Leah Ritchie, 28, was arrested at Bogota’s El Dorado Airport after attempting to board an Air Canada flight to Toronto with a fake belly made out of latex attached to her body, according to authorities.

Authorities said they found 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) of cocaine.

“The way she operated was to [try to] fool law enforcement checks by faking a pregnancy,” Col. Esteban Arias, deputy director of Colombia’s antinarcotic police department, said.

The cocaine was allegedly discovered after an inspector noted that her belly was unusually cold and hard, The Associated Press reported.

Video posted online by Colombian National police shows what appears to be Ritchie’s false stomach being removed by officers at the airport. The officer removes the false stomach, which appears to be attached via straps around Ritchie’s back, and removes two packages that authorities say contained the cocaine.

Ritchie’s fake stomach was concealed by a tank-top shirt and a long shawl, police said. They said Ritchie, a social worker, arrived in Colombia Aug. 6.

Calls placed by ABCNews.com to the Canadian Embassy on Bogota were not immediately returned.

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