Federal police seized 9.2 pounds (4.2 kilograms) of heroin from a hidden compartment of a suitcase that arrived at Mexico City's international airport aboard a flight from Caracas, Venezuela, on Monday.
It was the latest in a series of heroin shipments found in luggage on flights from Caracas, in what federal prosecutors say is an increasingly important route for drug trafficking.
The man who claimed the suitcase - a 24-year-old Mexican citizen - was detained, and told police he had been paid US$3,000 (euro2,565) to carry it into Mexico, the Public Safety Department said in a press statement. The man is being held on suspicion of drug trafficking.
Specially trained police dogs detected the drugs during a routine inspection of incoming luggage on Monday. The hidden compartment was apparently built into the bottom of the suitcase.
The announcement of increasing heroin shipments comes amid a diplomatic dispute between Mexico and Venezuela that led both countries to withdraw their ambassadors following a verbal sparring match between Mexican President Vicente Fox and his Venezuelan counterpart, Hugo Chavez.
Mexican prosecutors said last week - at the height of the dispute - that they have detected a large upswing in heroin shipments entering Mexico from Venezuela, and suggested that corrupt Venezuelan airport workers may be letting the drugs through.
The number of heroin shipments seized at the Mexico City and Ciudad Juarez airports - almost all of which originated in Caracas, Venezuela - has more than doubled in the past year.
Chavez suspended cooperation with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in August, accusing its agents of spying. The next month, the U.S. government said Venezuela had failed to effectively fight drug trafficking and removed the country from a list of cooperating nations.
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