Doubts raised over drugs documentary

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The Independent Online
DOUBTS were again being raised last night about the veracity of television documentaries after a national newspaper made a number of allegations about a programme on heroin smuggling.

The allegations about The Connection, broadcast on ITV's flagship "Network First" series, come weeks after a newspaper revealed that part of a Channel Four documentary which purported to show cowboy builders was faked.

Last night Carlton Communications, in a statement released by Nigel Walmsley, director of broadcasting, said: "The Guardian has properly drawn to our attention allegations about this programme which so far we have been unable to substantiate. It has raised new issues which we will investigate fully and make the results public. We have offered the Guardian full co-operation and access and hope they will reciprocate."

The documentary was on a drugs cartel based in Cali, in Colombia, which had set up a new heroin smuggling route to London. The programme claimed an exclusive interview with a cartel leader. It also filmed a drugs courier swallowing packets of heroin and then being covertly filmed on a flight to Heathrow.

The documentary said this was evidence of a new heroin route to Britain which targeted children and which British drug enforcement officers knew nothing about.

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