The young man arrested at Sao Paulo airport in Brazil with his stomach full of cocaine capsules was carrying an Irish passport.

Ireland’s Department of Affairs has confirmed, after consultations with Brazilian police, that the passport is genuine.

Officials are now trying to ascertain if the 20-year-old is the legitimate holder of the passport.

Brazilian’s Federal police have confirmed that the man was carrying nearly a kilogram of cocaine in his stomach. He was detained as he tried to board a flight at Sao Paulo airport bound for Brussels.

The man’s nervous disposition drew the attention of officers as he waited to board the flight.

When questioned, the drugs mule admitted to police that he had swallowed capsules packed with cocaine.

Subsequent scans of his abdomen at a nearby hospital confirmed the outline of 72 oval-shaped capsules in the man’s stomach. Each capsule contained 850g of the drug.

If convicted under Brazil’s drug trafficking laws, the man faces between five and 15 years in prison.