Japanese drug mule dies mid-flight after swallowing 246 packets of cocaine

The man was pronounced dead after an emergency landing in northern Mexico.
The man was pronounced dead after an emergency landing in northern Mexico. Photo credit: Twitter/FGJE Sonora.

A Japanese drug mule died during a flight on Friday after ingesting 246 packets of cocaine.

The 42-year-old man, identified as Udo N, died on an Aeroméxico flight from the Colombian capital of Bogotá to Tokyo. Udo began having a seizure after a stopover in Mexico City. The plane made an emergency landing in the northern Mexican city of Hermosillo. 

The prosecutor's office for the state of Sonora said: "Flight attendants noticed a person suffering convulsions and requested permission to make an emergency landing in Hermosillo, Sonora."

Paramedics declared the man deceased after boarding the plane at 2:25am (local time), The Guardian reports.

An autopsy discovered 246 packets of the Class A narcotic lodged in the man's stomach and intestines, each packet measuring 1cm by 2.5cm.

Prosecutors said in a statement on Sunday that the man died from cerebral edema (swelling of the brain) caused by a drug overdose. It's suspected that one of the bags inside Udo N broke.

Authorities said there was no other possible cause of death.

The Aeroméxico plane resumed its flight to Japan after Udo N's body was removed and international protocols were observed, The Guardian reports.

Human "drug mules" are a popular choice for drug cartels attempting to smuggle narcotics across the world.

CBS News reports that US agents with the Drug Enforcement Agency have announced an increase in the amount of migrants acting as drug mules for cartels, often out of desperation to pay off smugglers.