A suspected drug trafficker died after swallowing pellets of cocaine with an estimated street value of $25,000.

The 44-year-old man died on Monday, Oct. 1, at a home in Prospect. The incident was initially reported to police as a medical emergency.

A post-mortem determined the man had ingested what police described as a “large number of pellets containing what is believed to be cocaine.”

Some of the pellets were discovered to have ruptured. According to police, the man had just returned from a trip to Honduras.

Further tests are pending before a cause of death is determined and the coroner is investigating.

Detective Superintendent Peter Lansdown said this type of incident was relatively rare but not unheard of in the Cayman Islands.

He said it was an incredibly high-risk strategy.

“It has been happening worldwide for a long, long time,” he said. “I understand there is an enticement, there is potential for financial gain, but they pay a very high price.

“Whenever I have encountered people involved in this, it is either in prison or in the morgue. There are potential for some very serious outcomes. It is not even worth considering as an option.”

He said police were investigating all the circumstances and it was too early to say if this was an isolated incident or linked to a wider conspiracy.