German court convicts man for smuggling drugs in wheelchair

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BERLIN (AP) — A Dutch citizen has been sentenced in Germany to 5 ½ years in prison for smuggling multiple kilograms (pounds) of cocaine inside his wheelchair from the Dutch Caribbean island of Curacao.

A state court in Duesseldorf on Wednesday convicted the 57-year-old of importing drugs and assisting drug dealing.

The dpa news agency reports that customs officials found 11.2 kilograms (24.7 pounds) of cocaine worth 750,000 euros ($798,000) hidden inside the batteries of his wheelchair during a check at Duesseldorf airport in October.

During the trial, the Curacao-born man initially denied knowing there was cocaine in his wheelchair. He later acknowledged smuggling the drugs under pressure, saying traffickers had threatened to harm his daughter in Curacao.

He hasn't been named in line with German privacy rules.

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