Aer Lingus passenger who died after biting fellow traveller 'had £41,000 worth of cocaine in his stomach’

John Kennedy Santos Gurjao is understood to have had 0.8kg of cocaine in his stomach in 80 pellets

Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith
Tuesday 20 October 2015 08:38
John Kennedy Santos Gurjao suffered a violent seizure and died on the Aer Lingus flight bound for Dublin
John Kennedy Santos Gurjao suffered a violent seizure and died on the Aer Lingus flight bound for Dublin

A Brazilian passenger who died on an Aer Lingus flight after suffering a violent seizure and collapsing has been found to have had nearly 2lbs worth of suspected cocaine in his stomach.

The Irish Times reports that the man, named as 25-year-old John Kennedy Santos Gurjao, is understood to have ingested 0.8kg of the drug in a total of 80 pellets, one of which burst in his stomach during the flight from Lisbon to Dublin on Sunday.

Toxicology tests are expected to confirm the substance is cocaine, the amount of which found inside Mr Santos Gurjao’s body would have a street value of around £41,000, the newspaper reports.

Ireland’s Gardai confirmed that a number of packages have been recovered and forwarded for forensic analysis. An investigation is currently underway.

Mr Santos Gurjao became agitated halfway through the two hour flight from Portugal to Ireland on Sunday. When another passenger attempted to restrain him he bit them on the arm before suffering an apparent seizure and collapsing, forcing the plane to divert to Cork airport.

A Portuguese woman in her 40s was arrested on suspicion of drugs offences after the flight landed when a quantity of amphetamines was discovered.

John Leonard from Cork was on the flight and described Mr Santos Gurjao’s death as “horrible”.

Speaking to PJ Coogan’s Opinion Line on Cork’s 96fm, he described how the flight’s captain asked if there were any medics on board as two nurses and a doctor tried to resuscitate the man, after which he appeared to deteriorate.

Woman escorted off aeroplane

“He was actually on the ground shaking violently,” he said. “The noise he was making was like something I have never heard before.

“It’s not something you’d hear every day. It was like deep anguish is the best way I could describe it, very, very troubled.”

He added: “A very violent end – to die that way in the back of an aeroplane, it’s not right. It was not very pleasant at all.”

Additional reporting by PA