Three Britons appeared in court yesterday charged with smuggling drugs after cocaine was discovered inside two Labrador dogs at Amsterdam's Schipol airport.
Dutch authorities found the drugs implanted under the skin of both animals after they were examined by a vet. The drugs were surgically removed, but one of the dogs died. The other is recovering.
It is believed to be the first time animals have been found being used as drug "mules". Scotland Yard did not releasefull details of the operation but a spokeswoman said the case was unusual and did not initially involve specialist drugs officers.
The dogs arrived in Amsterdam last week, the Metropolitan Police said.
Police also arrested seven people at Stansted Airport Business Park, Essex, in connection with the incident.
The three were charged at Chelmsford Magistrates Court with attempting to import 1.6kg of cocaine, worth around £30,000. They are Glenroy Kentish, 27,ofHitchin, Hertfordshire; Gregory Graham, 26,of Harrow, Middlesex; and Sophia McPherson, 23, of Luton, Bedfordshire. They were remanded in custody to appear before Harlow magistrates on 7 October.Reuse content