Mexican beauty held smuggling drugs

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Guadalajara, Dec 24: Miss Sinaloa 2008, Laura Zuniga was arrested from drug-plagued Sinaloa on Tuesday, Dec 23 with suspected gang members in a truck filled guns and ammunitions, the Police said.

"Zuniga was arrested shortly before midnight on Monday, Dec 22 at a military checkpoint in Zapopan, just outside the colonial city of Guadalajara," said Jalisco state police director, Francisco Alejandro Solorio.

"Zuniga was riding in one of two trucks, where soldiers found a large stash of weapons, including two AR-15 assault rifles, .38 specials, 9mm handguns, nine magazines, 633 cartridges and $53,300 in US currency," Solorio said.

Out of the three arrested, the State police has identified one of the men caught as her brother who is reported to be an alleged drug trafficker from Ciudad Juarez, a city on the US border, and another the man appeared to have been her boyfriend.

Zuniga told police that she was planning on traveling to Bolivia and Colombia with the men to go shopping, Solorio said.

When the former preschool teacher won Miss Sinaloa in July she gave an impassioned speech about how society should value women more, especially mothers. In October, she won the Hispanoamerican Queen beauty contest in October against competitors from across Latin America.

She placed third in the Nuestra Belleza Mexico pageant in Monterrey in September. That pageant sends its winner to the Miss Universe contest. For placing third, she was expected to represent Mexico in the 2009 Miss International contest.

It was not immediately known whether Zuniga and the men were being investigated for drug ties. Lupita Jones, the national director of Nuestra Belleza Mexico, released a statement distancing the organisation from Zuniga. Jones also said Nuestra Belleza knew nothing about "any illicit activity in which she could be involved".

The organisation also says it will await the results of the investigation before making any decision about whether to strip Zuniga of her crown.

"Since 1994, Nuestra Belleza has been a serious, honest and transparent organization dedicated exclusively to preparing Mexican women to successfully represent our country en various contests and whose object is to show the beauty, value and intelligence of each one of them," Jones said.


OneIndia News (With inputs from Agencies)

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