An Italian pilot suspected of accidentally dropping nearly £7million worth of pure cocaine from plane onto someone’s roof in a bungled drugs run has been arrested.
Francesco Rizzo, 28, allegedly flung eight and a half kilograms drugs onto the house of unsuspecting residents in the picturesque town of Oristano in Sardinia.
The flight instructor, from Rome, is thought to have been flying his single-propeller plane at low altitude in order to carry out the handover – but missed the target, police said.
Instead of landing in the hands of the traffickers, the enormous hall smashed through the roof of a stunned neighbour, breaking a solar panel in the process.
The homeowner called police after hearing a loud bang upstairs.
Police, who were initially baffled as to how the drugs ended up there, said the package would have a street value of around £6.8million once cut.
Investigations subsequently revealed the plane departed from Roma Urbe airport, but vanished from the radar for about 20 minutes while it was above Sardinia.
Analysis of its GPS later revealed it had flown over villages in Oristano and had been photographed by CCTV.
Police searched for Rizzo for months and arrested him on Tuesday after eventually tracking him down while he made a stopover at Cagliari-Elmas airport on a flight from Germany.
Officers said it was the first time they had ever encountered someone trying to make such an audacious drugs handover.