Madrid - Spanish police said on Sunday they have smashed a cocaine smuggling ring that employed pregnant women to evade X-ray screening at airports with the arrest of 15 people, including eight Colombians.
The drug couriers would transport the cocaine either hidden inside their vaginas or stomachs wrapped up in condoms or plastic bags on flights from Madrid to Spain's Canary Islands, police said in a statement.
"Despite the serious risks, the organisation used pregnant women to elude X-ray controls at airports", it said.
Three Dominicans, two Spaniards, a German and a Paraguayan were arrested in addition to the Colombians.
Six women were among those arrested, including four suspected drug couriers.
Police seized 4kg of cocaine of high purity, as well as four weighing scales and several documents as part of their operation, which began in July.
Spain's proximity to Morocco, a key source of hashish, and its close ties with its former colonies in Latin America, a major cocaine-producing region, have made it a major gateway into Europe for drug traffickers.