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Social Worker Pregnant with Cocaine
September 13, 2013 permalink
Ontario social worker Tabitha Leah Ritchie tried to smuggle cocaine in her fake baby bump. Here is a local copy (mp4) of the accompanying video.
‘Pregnant’ Canadian allegedly used rubber belly allegedly carried drugs
A London, Ont., woman allegedly feigned pregnancy to hide two kilos of Colombian cocaine in a rubber belly.
In a novel drug-trafficking scheme described by Colombian officials, an Ontario woman allegedly faked a pregnancy and hid two kilograms of cocaine in a fake rubber belly to evade detection.
Tabitha Leah Ritchie, 28, of London, was arrested by anti-narcotics police at the Eldorado Airport in Bogota, Colombia, while trying to board a Toronto-bound Air Canada flight Wednesday afternoon.
“The Canadian citizen insisted that she had seven months of gestation and she behaved quite aggressively,” said Col. Esteban Arias Melo, assistant director of Anti-Narcotics of the Colombian National Police.
“Her pregnant state was based on a well-made ‘latex belly,’ easily affixed to her back,” he alleged.
According to Arias, Ritchie was intercepted by uniformed personnel who noticed her advanced state of pregnancy and asked when she was due.
He said the woman expressed disgust at the question, which prompted the female officer’s curiosity. The officer sent the woman for further inspection after touching her belly and finding it “too hard and extremely cold.”
Officials said they subsequently found two sealed bags of cocaine, worth US$60,000, hidden under the woman’s fake belly.
Arias said Ritchie, who entered Colombia on Aug. 6, was a social worker by profession.
However, her name did not appear in the Ontario College of Social Workers’ membership directory.
Ritchie, who is charged with trafficking, carriage and fabrication of narcotics, could face a jail sentence of five to eight years in Colombia if found guilty.
To date in 2013, Colombian officials said 238 people have been arrested on charges of trafficking narcotics through the country’s international air terminals, including 94 foreigners.
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada confirmed that it is providing consular services to Ritchie in Colombia.
Source: Toronto Star
Addendum: Ritchie also keeps illegal firearms at home.
Detained in Colombia, Tabitha Ritchie faces firearms charges at home
You’d think getting busted in Colombia with a fake pregnant belly, full of cocaine, would be enough trouble for one woman.
But it turns out accused London drug mule, Tabitha Ritchie, also has some issues piled on her plate at home.
Only trouble is, the 28-year-old social worker and university student was a no-show Tuesday in court in London, when the homegrown firearms charges against her came up.
Ritchie is co-charged with an ex-boyfriend for three offences — possession of a shotgun without a licence, careless storage of ammo and having a loaded, restricted firearm.
As lawyer Jason Skinner put it, his client “finds herself in custody in South America” with “no chance of returning in the foreseeable future.”
Skinner had been expected to argue his client’s rights under the Charter of Rights had been violated, but with Ritchie detained behind bars in South America that never happened.
Trevor Hernandez, 22, Ritchie’s co-accused, who’s also charged with violating a ban slapped on him not to have firearms, was brought into court with hopes of setting a trial date.
The joint charges against Ritchie and Hernandez date back to last November.
Ritchie made international headlines weeks ago, when anti-narcotics officers at the Bogota airport in Colombia found two kilograms of cocaine hidden behind a pocket of latex in a fake pregnant belly. Ritchie was arrested as a suspected drug mule, or smuggler.
She was trying to board an Air Canada flight to Toronto when she was searched and detained.
Hernandez’s lawyer, Rob Kitto, said he’s anxious to move ahead with his client’s case since he’s in custody.
But nothing can happen until Skinner gets instructions from Ritchie.
A new trial date for Hernandez is likely to be confirmed Oct. 8.
Source: London Free Press