Escape from Bolivia

Stina Brendemo Hagen, one of the three Norwegian women arrested for drug smuggling in Bolivia, has fled the country.

In May of 2008, three young Norwegian women claiming to be on vacation attempted to leave Bolivia with 22.5 kilos of cocaine in their luggage. All were arrested, but one managed to escape to Norway by claiming she had lost her passport.

The other two women, Stina Brendemo Hagen and Madelaine Rodriguez, remained in Bolivia and were sentenced to over 10 years in prison. Hagen gave birth to a child while in prison. The child is now in Norway with Hagen’s mother.

Today the news broke that Hagen, who was released on a bail of 350,000 kroner, did not check in with authorities on Monday as she was supposed to and has probably fled the country for Brazil. Once in Brazil, it is thought that she will head to the Norwegian Consulate and attempt to obtain a passport.

“We do not want to comment on what kind of consular assistance she has received, but we can say that a passport has not been issued in her name,” said Director of Communications at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Kjetil Elsebutangen to VG.

Hagen’s lawyer, Frode Sulland, said to VG, “I don’t wish to comment on this. I do not know where she is now.”

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The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.