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Aer Lingus flight death man: '£40,000 of cocaine in stomach'

AN aunt of a drugs mule who died following an overdose on a flight to Ireland has told of her family's "terrible shock" at his violent death.

According to reports John Kennedy dos Santos Gurjao, who was originally from Calcoene in Brazil, had an estimated £40,000 of cocaine in his stomach when he died on the Aer Lingus flight from Lisbon to Dublin on Sunday.

Mr Gurjao reportedly flew into a rage onboard and bit a passenger trying to restrain him after one of the packages is said to have ruptured in his stomach.

The 24-year-old Brazilian was pronounced dead after the Airbus A320 was diverted to Cork Airport.

Passengers onboard described the scenes as very disturbing.

A number of packages recovered from his body during a post-mortem examination have been sent for forensic analysis.

It has been reported the packages are believed to have contained 0.8kg of suspected cocaine, wrapped in 80 pellets.

A woman in her forties, believed to be from Portugal, was arrested on suspicion of drugs offences after the flight landed.

Almost 2kg of powder seized from the woman's luggage at Cork Airport has tested negative for drugs. Reports have suggested the white powder was baking soda.

Gardai were last night still questioning the woman to establish if she was travelling with Mr Gurjao.

Mr Gurjao's aunt Lourdes said the family believed he was still living in the Brazilian city of Macapa after moving away from his home in Calcoene last year.

The family were told of his death in a phone call from the Brazilian Embassy in Dublin.

"We received a phone call from the consulate asking if we knew him," Ms Gurjao told a local newspaper.

"The truth was we didn't even know he was out of the country.

"He used to keep in contact by text message. He'd send us messages saying, 'morning' or 'afternoon', but that's all we knew of him."

His aunt also described how her nephew, who had eight siblings, had left Calcoene "so he could survive".

"It was a life or death thing," she said.

"He lost his parents at a very early age and because there was no work, he went to Macapa.

"It was a terrible shock. We never imagined he would travel so far away."

His cousin Rafael Gurjao also said: "Rest in peace my cousin. We shall all miss you. Today the Gurjao family is very sad because we lost one of one members".

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