A Colombian man was arrested at Barcelona airport with half a kilo of cocaine hidden under his wig, Spanish police said.

The man attracted officers' attention because he was "considerably nervous" and his wig was of "disproportionate size", police said in a statement.

Officers questioned the man and found a "perfectly-sealed package taped to his head". It contained 503 grammes of cocaine worth over €30,000.

In what police have dubbed "Operation Toupee", the man was arrested at Barcelona's El Prat airport, Spain's second busiest, after arriving on a flight from Bogota at the end of June.

Spain, with its historic and linguistic links to South America, is an important gateway for cocaine to Europe, mainly from Colombia.

Smugglers often resort to creative methods to get drugs past Spanish customs.

In recent years, police have found cocaine inside breast implants, hollowed-out pineapples, a wheelchair cushion, a plaster cast encasing a man's broken leg, and a 42-piece crockery set.