14 Jun 2011

Congo diplomat's wife arrested on smuggling charge

9:30 am on 14 June 2011

The wife of a diplomat from the Democratic Republic of Congo has been arrested in Romania on suspicion of cigarette smuggling.

Police found more than 18,000 cigarette packets hidden in her car.

Esther Pascaline Bombeto, whose husband is accredited in Serbia, reportedly claimed diplomatic immunity before police forcibly searched the car.

She was arrested while returning from Serbia. At least two Serbian nationals were also detained.

The BBC reports the car had been under surveillance for months by Romanian intelligence officers and police.