Crafty, but not quite crafty enough—44 pounds (roughly 20 kilograms) of cocaine have been seized by US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) in Cincinnati from South America, disguised as sweetly sugar frosted corn flakes, according to a CBP news release. A Chicago Police Department detector dog named Bico was the very good boy who sniffed out the not-so-cereal-ish shipment that was intended on reaching a private residence in Hong Kong.
Bico flagged the suspicious boxes, and they were opened up by the officers for a closer inspection, obviously. What was revealed inside was a little more sugar frosting that one might imagine a typical box of corn flakes would have, and the flakes themselves were coated in a “grayish substance,” which was then tested, and a schedule II substance under the Controlled Substances Act was found, that being cocaine.
According to CNN, on “a typical day in fiscal year 2020, CBP said it seized 3,677 pounds (that’s around 1,668 kilograms) of drugs at ports of entry across the nation.” Cincinnati Port Director Richard Gillespie emphasised in the CBP release that smugglers will hide narcotics in anything imaginable. “The men and women at the Port of Cincinnati are committed to stopping the flow of dangerous drugs, and they continue to use their training, intuition, and strategic skills to prevent these kinds of illegitimate shipments from reaching the public.”
Just because I was curious, and thought you might be too—I wanted to have a read up on more creative ways that drugs are (attempted) to be smuggled through borders. You’ve got to give it to criminals, they really know how to think outside of the box. In some cases, around the box.
Drugs have been smuggled inside the foreskin of penises, which as one would imagine could be tricky to find without officers performing a complete cavity search. One man was caught in Kentucky trafficking drugs into a prison this way—his record was double guilty as charged.
Another way to avoid blame is to just pass it on to someone else, right? Pigeons are trained to fly back and forth from the dealers to the buyer wearing neat little backpacks stuffed with bad stuff on their backs, because who could arrest a bird?
Opium smuggling seems to have a thing for nuts, because twice, in 2018 and 2019, the Quebec border control services found ‘nuts’ entirely made out of opium. Such craftsmanship! But how does the saying go, something about doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results?
Another opium error, worth £16,000, was being sent from Iran and addressed to a property in the North East of England, intercepted by officials at Heathrow Airport on Christmas day 2016, was disguised as mechanical steel cogs. The artistry goes out and beyond when it comes to hiding drugs, but sometimes an intended double bluff is taken much too far. For example, a man was caught with cocaine estimated to be worth around £27,000, nestled under his ill-fitting toupee.
A Brazilian man was also caught in an outlandish bid to bluff by smuggling cocaine into Portugal in 2018, inside a pair of fake buttocks. As the BBC stated, “The two cushion-like implants, which were attached to swimming trunks, contained at least 5,000 individual portions of cocaine.” As you can imagine, the smuggler did not have as soft of a landing as he had intended.
In the last but by no means least attempt at a bluff smuggle, nuns, or rather, women wearing nun outfits, who are not typically associated with drugs due to their commitment to other duties, are being wholly taken advantage of. Three women from Colombia dressed as nuns and were ultimately arrested with 2 kilograms of cocaine strapped to their bodies. Where is the limit? It doesn’t seem that there is one. Financial hardship, force and manipulation all come to play when in the pit of drug trafficking, and it’s really quite serious.