The Americas

Better watch out: Police disguised as Santa catch naughty drug dealers in Peru

Bags of seized cocaine sit before they're incinerated at a police base in Lima, Peru.

Bags of seized cocaine sit before they're incinerated at a police base in Lima, Peru.  (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)

Police in Peru, the world’s top cocaine producer, can use all the help they can get in their fight against drug trafficking – and this time of year that includes Santa Claus.

Earlier this week, an undercover police officer disguised as Santa was caught in video heading a raid that led to the arrest of four alleged drug dealers.

In an odd sight, a puffy “Papa Noel” is seen violently hitting the front door of a home with a sledgehammer and then going about his police business wearing a velvety red suit and even a cheeky mask.

Colonel Jorge Angulo told a local TV station that the narcotics unit is getting good results with the new tactic, which he said may expand to other characters such as the Three Kings.

He said officers usually resort to all kinds of disguises to go unnoticed as they follow criminals down the busy streets of Lima.

In this 'Santa' operation police seized 4,564 small packets of cocaine paste.