KLM engineers sentenced in failed plot to smuggle cocaine hidden on aircraft

Three KLM engineers working on Schiphol-Oost hangars 11 and 14 and four other suspects were sentenced for trying to smuggle cocaine from the Antilles, concealed in hidden compartments in airplanes, in 2013 and 2014. The suspects received prison sentences between of 1 and 2.5 years, with one case of 240 hours of community service and a conditionally suspended prison sentence, Het Parool reports.

The main suspect in this case is 57 year old John R. who worked in hangar 14 He coordinated the drug smuggling with an accomplice outside the airport, two engineers in hangar 11, contacts in the Antilles and a few of his relatives, according to the newspaper.

Using a secret code and copies or photos of maintenance schedules, the KLM engineers told their Antillean contacts in which planes to hide the drugs. The engineers would then have plenty of time to remove the packages of cocaine from the planes, undisturbed while doing maintenance.

But every time they tried to get the drug smuggling going, something went wrong. Either too many witnesses or the men in the Antilles complaining about lack of money.

The Marechaussee, a police force working as a branch of the military, customs and FIOD easily managed to link the aircraft with the secret codes, but every time the planes landed with out drugs. By the time the suspects were arrested in 2014, not a single cocaine shipment was made.