Cash mules ingest drug money and smuggle it into Colombia

December 7, 2018 | Brainwave Science


A huge bust related to drugs in Colombia has exposed an international smuggling which used poor and unemployed young people to swallow capsules containing money which was obtained from drug sales. 27 people have been arrested for ingesting cash in order to sneak it into Colombia from Mexico. These persons are believed to be working for four smuggling networks.

The suspects were detained at El Dorado airport in capital Bogata on Thursday. The cash mules typically swallow between 80 to 120 latex-wrapped capsules. These capsules may contain five $100 bills each. This money is a payment from Mexican cocaine gangs to their Colombian suppliers. After their arrival in Colombia, the mules are held in hotels until they expel all of the capsules.

A cash mule usually carries around $40,000. The confiscated money in this investigation reaches $11m. The mules are paid about $1,500 per trip. One of those arrested had travelled between Colombia and Mexico around 250 times since 2015.


According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, cocaine production in Colombia was at a record high last year. Total production jumped from 1,053 metric tons in 2016 to 1,379 in 2017.

It is understood that the arrested persons possess a huge amount of information. However, the investigative agencies face a big challenge. It is that although the interrogation of the arrested persons can help confirm their involvement, it can not help much in defeating the larger criminal organisation.

The impoverished cash mules commit such crimes to support themselves and their families. Conventional interrogation does not yield much information as the arrested persons are either afraid of the members of the criminal organisations or there is a language barrier which prevents effective communication.

Investigative agencies will be greatly helped if they possessed a technique to extract more information from the arrested persons without the use of torture. The agencies need this information to help confirm the guilt of the arrested persons, but also to gain intelligence about the four smuggling networks which used them to smuggle the dirty money from Mexico to Colombia.


Law enforcement agencies aim to bust the drug trafficking networks which smuggle drugs and dirty money across national borders. By finding out what the arrested persons know about the traffickers and their modus operandi, the agencies stand a chance to understand the structure and hierarchy of these drug trafficking organisations.

There exists a solution which can enable law enforcement agencies to interrogate suspects in a more effective way. iCognative technology, offered by Brainwave Science, is an accurate, reliable, and quick means to match available crime-related information with what is available in a suspect’s memory. The system is capable of detecting whether “information is present” or “information is absent”, in the suspect’s brain with over 99.9% accuracy.

Upon the arrest of a suspect, the traditional methods of interrogation usually fail to extract information which can be of help in defeating his criminal network.

iCognative is known to report no false negatives or false positives. iCognative is invaluable to law enforcement personnel. By discovering the knowledge possessed by a suspect, security personnel can process cases faster. iCognative detects the awareness of information which only a perpetrator or a witness can be aware of. This information is difficult to obtain through conventional questioning.


The suspect may be able to outsmart a polygraph test but iCognative cannot be defeated by the subjects. The system is able to detect if he or she possesses crime-relevant information. With iCognative, law enforcement can identify whether a suspect knows the names of the persons involved, phone numbers, routes taken, names, etc. Law enforcement agencies can effectively crush cross-border trafficking networks. The iCognative technology minimizes the time and effort spent in the whole exercise. It also eliminates and human suffering and torture in the investigation process.

In the above trafficking case, iCognative can help to bust the trafficking network which exploits cash mules to transport cash from Mexico to Colombia. The test lasts 45 minutes and can determine if the subject has awareness of information related to the crime.

Details related to the crime such as pictures of the cash capsules, routes taken, dates of travel must trigger a response in the brains of the traffickers and planners. These images when uploaded to the iCognative, can be used to specifically screen suspects. The subject observes a monitor where crime-related words, phrases or pictures are flashed. The brainwave responses of the subject accurately reveal if he or she either planned, committed or witnessed the crime.

iCognative can determine which suspect has specific crime-related information in their brains and which does not. Drug smuggling can be stopped if the agencies can stop the movement of dirty money. iCognative– is the tool which can help to gather intelligence efficiently and dismantle drug trafficking organizations.

Main Source: Reuters

Image Source: US News