While lots of drugs come from Colombia and Mexico to other countries, there are tons of drugs that in fact, don’t. When people try to smuggle drugs, they often get caught. So, they try to come up with creative ways to do it, but sometimes those ways are so out there, it’s a little too obvious to agents who have probably seen it all. Here are thirteen of the most interesting ways people have tried to smuggle drugs. Some of these people had such good plans that they almost got away with it and other people were so stupid, perhaps the drugs were affecting their brains too.
13. Frozen Goat Meat
In March 2014, officers found 7 lbs of cocaine, worth between $1.2 and $1.8 million stuffed in frozen goat meat. First of all, the only goat people eat in New York is goat cheese and if New Yorkers ate goat meat, they certainly wouldn’t freeze it. A press release by customs officials said:
An arriving passenger at John F. Kennedy International Airport had a different kind of ‘beef’ when encountered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers. When probed, the frozen packages of meat produced a white powder that tested positive for cocaine.
The person accused denied knowing the cocaine was in the frozen goat meat.
12. Taped Underpants
If this image isn’t clear enough, let us elaborate. Customs officials in New York discovered cocaine in someone who hid it her underwear and taped it up with electrical tape to secure the drugs. Because that’s not obvious- right?
11. In A Wig
Two Portuguese women, ages 18 and 28, tried to smuggle £150,000 (1.3 kg each) of cocaine under their wigs into the Madrid’s Barajas Airport. They flew in on separate flights. Officers were very impressed with their operation and a spokesperson was quoted as saying “This new method of drugs smuggling is very elaborate and difficult to detect because the wigs are so natural-looking.”
10. In A Bra
Smuggling drugs in a bra is the oldest and dumbest trick in the book. A Britain’s Got Talent star admitted in 2012, she was once caught smuggling marijuana into prison for her ex-boyfriend before she became famous. Alexis Economou of REAformed (seriously, that’s the band’s name, no joke), admitted her mistake publicly and deeply regretted it:
I brought drugs with me to prison. I knew it was wrong. As I walked up to the prison, my heart was racing, I had a million different things going through my head. From the moment I woke up that morning, it was like everything was in slow motion. I was in a bubble. I was absolutely terrified when I walked into the prison. They did a body search but I’d hidden it in my bra so they didn’t find it. I handed it over to him when I thought nobody was looking and I couldn’t wait to get out of there. I was just relieved it wasn’t on my person any more. A guard came over to me and asked me to wait in a small room. And I immediately knew… I was crying my heart out. I was only interviewed for about 15 minutes because I had admitted everything straight away.
Economou only served a three-and-a-half-month long suspended sentence and completed 150 hours of community service.
9. In Bananas
This operation was bananas, right? Drug dealers accidentally sent £5 million worth of cocaine in boxes of Bananas to five Aldi Supermarket locations in Berlin, Germany. In January 2014, 140kg of drugs were discovered in banana boxes set to go on sale to customers. Olaf Schremm, who is the head of Berlin’s anti-drugs squad, revealed the boxes came from Colombia to Aldi’s distribution center, and couldn’t exactly figure out what went wrong: “I don’t know where the mistake was in the perpetrators’ delivery chain.” It was Germany’s largest drug bust in 15 years.
8. In Cans of Black Beans
As delicious as black beans are (at least to some people), they’re pretty easy to get anywhere, so officers became suspicious when someone had way too many cans of beans. It turned out the beans were kilos of cocaine. And those are worth a whole lot of beans!
7. In a Child’s Drawings
There are many ways drugs are smuggled into prison, but perhaps the saddest way is through a child’s drawings. In February 2011, prison officers in Nesquehoning, Pennsylvania, at the Carbon County Correctional Facility, were sorting through the inmates’ mail, as they always do, but when they saw orange splotches over a child’s Cinderella and Snow White coloring book pages, officers became suspicious. Sadly, the pictures were inscribed with a message, “To Daddy.” The orange substance turned out to be Suboxone, which is the first narcotic medicine doctors can prescribe to treat opiate addiction (it’s an alternative to methadone). Suboxone has became a very popular drug to smuggle into prison, sadly because there aren’t adequate drug treatment programs available.
6. Leg Bandages
In October 2014, A 34 year old woman from Paraguay used yards of white tape to secure bags of cocaine to her legs, covered by nude stockings, through the airport in Malaga, Spain. It was pretty noticeable because she was wearing a skirt, making her look like Nora Batty, from the UK sitcom, Last of The Summer Wine. No word about her thigh gap…
5. In Laundry Detergent
In 2012, police found 12 packages of cocaine valued a $294,000 when they searched a couple’s car, hidden in boxes of powdered laundry detergent. They might be working at the prison Laundromat for a very long time…
4. In a Fake Baby Bump
In 2013, a 28-year-old Canadian woman became pregnant- with terrible ideas to smuggle drugs that is. She was arrested for trying to smuggle two kilos (4.4 pounds) of cocaine, outside of Colombia, in a fake baby bump. The social worker (yes, you read that correctly), was detained by police after they noticed her bump was cold and hard.
3. Under The Seat of a Wheelchair
A 19-year-old United States citizen was arrested at the border in San Ysidro, California. He tried to smuggle five pounds of marijuana under the seat of a wheelchair. He almost got away with it, but a California Border Patrol officer saw he looked nervous, so he decided to search him. Drug sniffing dogs found the packages.
2. In Breast Implants
In August 2014, a 43-year-old Venezuelan woman was caught carrying 3.6 pounds of cocaine in, of all things (wait for it), her breast implants. At the Madrid International Airport, after arriving from Colombia, the woman almost got away with it. She appeared nervous, which is the dead giveaway, so officers conducted a full-body search. They came up with nada…until she confessed to the crime. Police took her to the local hospital, where she had the implants removed. She was carrying approximately $2 million worth of cocaine.
Sadly, trying to smuggle cocaine inside breast implants isn’t all that uncommon. But, the scary part isn’t the operation at the airport; it’s the operation at the table. Saline implants are deflated and then cocaine is used to fill the implants. These procedures are often done under not-so-sterile conditions and can ultimately be deadly.
1. In Mr. Potatohead
People have tried to smuggle drugs in vegetables many times, so that was probably what inspired someone to try and smuggle drugs in the beloved children’s toy, Mr. Potato Head. In 2007, officers in Australia discovered 10.34 ounces of ecstasy inside of a Mr. Potato Head Toy sent as a gift (and a really good one at that) from Ireland to Australia. The maximum penalty in Australia for smuggling drugs is lifetime imprisonment.
Customs Director Post Karen Williams said:
“Whilst this is one of the more unusual concealments that we have seen in recent times, people need to be aware that Customs officers are alert to unusual and often outlandish methods of concealment.”
But nice try…