All the Ways Humans Have Smuggled Drugs Inside Food
With the unending stream of global drug trafficking, we decided to take a look at all of the foods that have been used to disguise narcotics and the idiots who package them.
Last week, a security official at the Mexico City Airport found eight pounds of crystal meth hidden inside plastic capsules wrapped in candy paper. The fake lollipops were inside two care packages labeled: "crafts and sweets" headed for Nebraska, where the packages were supposed to be delivered through a carrier company.
What a great idea! Nobody could ever be suspicious of candy!
Here at MUNCHIES, we've reported on many food-related drug smuggling cases and food robberies gone bad. So while we wait to learn more about what happened with those lollipops, let's explore the k-hole of ways in which people have been using food as a vessels for narcotics.
In September 2015, more than 170 kilos of cocaine were found inside a pumpkin patch in the port of Philadelphia. These "coke-kins" arrived from Costa Rica on their way to the Bronx, but this was not the first time that pumpkins were used beyond their Jack o' Latern potential. Two years ago, Canadian authorities reported that near three kilos of cocaine were found hidden inside pumpkins at Montreal's Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport.
Cocaine in Fruit
In May of 2015, almost five kilos of cocaine were confiscated at Toronto Pearson International Airport after officials discovered them hidden inside fruitcakes made of plaster and green paint. According to the Border Patrol Agency of Canada, the "cakes" were carefully placed inside 34 fruit boxes.
Pineapples are the common drug-smuggling vessel of choice. In May 2015, Spanish authorities discovered more than 180 kilos of cocaine carefully placed inside hollow pineapples hailing from South America. A little over a year later, officials discovered 2.5 tons of cocaine hidden inside a shipment of 2,285 pineapples at the same airport in Madrid. At least the smugglers didn't try to make fake plaster versions like those fruitcakes.
Costa Rica is one of the world's greatest banana producers, and in 2012, it exported more than 1.5 million tons of the fruit. That same year, 15.5 tons of cocaine headed for the US was discovered after it had been hidden inside hollowed-out bananas. More of that South American merchandise made its way into a supermarket in Berlin and a pizzeria in New York, where bananas certainly don't belong.
In 2012, an LAX airport officer discovered almost two kilos of meth hidden inside 45 chocolate bars, or the equivalent of $250,000.
Who knew that coffee bean bags are great disguises for hiding heroin? In 2011, US customs services reported that more than 150,000 heroin packages were found in java bags in both New York City and Chicago airports.
Last year, a California bakery decided to keep the good times rolling by sprinkling some marijuana into their New Orleans king cakes without telling their clientele. We are not sure what they were trying to do, but it resulted in 40 very stoned and angry customers.
In 2014, a man arrived to New York's JFK airport with three bottles of 12-year-old El Dorado rum that contained eight kilos of liquid cocaine. The bottles of booze were valued around $310,000. The man in question claimed that he had bought them in a duty-free shop at the Guayana airport, where he was coming from. Nobody believed him. Three years later at the same airport, La Tortuga rum cakes filled with two kilos of cocaine were confiscated from a man who had been traveling through Trinidad and Tobago.
These stories seem to never end. Just take a peak at the TSA Instagram account to get a dose of the unbelievable items that are confiscated at airports every day. As we wait for the Mexican Federal Ministry to find whomever is responsible for those four kilos of meth lollipops, we hope that it's not a similar case to the one where a man spent two years in prison for cocaine smuggling that was actually just powdered sugar in the end. Then again for some, sugar can also be considered a drug.
This post previously appeared on MUNCHIES Español