Thursday, May 15, 2014

15 Creative Smuggling Attempts

75 Snakes in a Bra

Snakes on a plane! One woman trying to smuggle 75 snakes across borders got very brave -- and very creative -- when she stuffed them in her bra. The woman was arrested in Stockholm, Sweden after officials grew suspicious when she kept scratching at her chest. Yikes!

Pretended Dead Man Was Asleep

How's this for foolhardy? Two women were arrested after trying to take a dead man with them on a plane. "Staff became suspicious when they tried to check in 91-year-old Curt Willi Jarant, who was wearing sunglasses, for a flight to Berlin." The dead man's wife and step daughter claim they thought he was just sleeping.

Tropical Fish in Under-Skirt Apron

This woman must have been acting fishy. Australian customs officials "became suspicious after hearing 'flipping' noises coming from the vicinity of her waist. An examination revealed 15 plastic water-filled bags holding fish allegedly concealed inside a purpose-built apron."

Nacho Cheese

Cans of nacho cheese and jalapenos were seized on their way across the border from Tijuana to San Diego. Officials spotted something strange on an X-ray and found 7 pounds of methamphetamine tucked into the cans of cheese sauce and peppers. That was no surprise to one Homeland Security agent, who said "I've seen people use chili powder, coffee grounds, detergent and grease [to hide drugs], but it's amazing what the canine can detect."

Drove Jeep Up and Over Border Fence

You usually hear about people trying to sneak under border fences. But these would-be drug smugglers tried to drive their Jeep Cherokee right over the top of the 14 foot fence between Mexico and California. Trouble was, they got stuck -- and were forced to leave it hanging in mid-air. Border Patrol officials said the smuggling suspects "fell prey to their own devices" by using "a make-shift ramp that was not quite up to the task."

Songbirds in His Pants

A California man was arrested and sentenced to 4 months in prison after he was caught hiding Asian songbirds in his pants. The man had flown from Vietnam to Los Angeles. When he arrived at LAX, officials discovered bird droppings and feathers on his clothing -- and 14 birds attached to his legs. A search warrant led to 51 further birds being found in the man's home.


When new-fangled technology fails, smugglers resort to tried and true ancient methods -- like the catapult. Mexican soldiers seized this "large drug catapult that smugglers were using to launch packages of pot into a remote area of Arizona." The launcher operated from a flatbed platform that was towed by an SUV -- which was also seized, along with 45 pounds of weed.

Pythons Taped to Torso

This man must have had an interesting journey! After getting off a ferry from Denmark, he was arrested by customs officials in Norway -- after they discovered he had 14 snakes and 10 geckos stuck to his body. The king pythons had been rolled up in socks and taped to his torso. The geckos were in small boxes taped to his legs. The officials were clued in after having come upon a tarantula in the man's luggage. "He told us he was crazy about reptiles," they said. 

Chihuahua in Hand Luggage

When Dublin customs officials saw this X-ray of a Chihuahua in a piece of hand luggage, "they actually thought it was a toy dog because it was standing up and looked so rigid. When we unzipped the bag and discovered it was a real dog we were more than surprised. In my 20-odd years in customs I have never seen a dog going through the customs machine." Apparently the passenger -- fresh off a flight from Madrid -- had been given a spot check because he looked nervous...

Broke His Leg

How's this for desperate!? This man may have intentionally broken his leg in order to smuggle a cocaine cast from Santiago, Chile to Barcelona, Spain. The man's leg cast was completely composed of compressed cocaine. According to a police spokesman, they "detected the drug by spraying the cast with a chemical that turns bright blue when it comes into contact with cocaine. The man was taken to hospital after the cast was removed."

Got a Boob Job

A 28 year old woman arriving in Barcelona from Panama was busted after answering standard questions in a strange way. That led to a body search -- during which border agents discovered blood stained bandages and fresh scars on her chest. During an emergency operation, surgeons recovered 2 plastic bags full of cocaine -- 3 pounds in all -- which had been implanted under her breasts. They may have saved her life. According to police, "She was in a very bad state when she arrived. She said she was not in any pain, but the wounds looked very bad." 

Junk in the Trunk

Two Bronx neighbors were caught at JFK with junk in the trunk. The women were on their way back from the Dominican Republic when they were stopped by customs officials -- who had been alerted by a drug-sniffing dog. When a search of their luggage found nothing, they were given a pat down. And discovered to be wearing "diapers" filled with cocaine.

Husband in Suitcase

She just wanted him back home! This woman attempted to sneak her husband out of jail in a suitcase. Prison staff "noticed the woman seemed nervous and was pulling a black, wheeled suitcase that looked bulky." A quick check inside the bag revealed the prisoner curled up inside in the fetal position.

Banana Shipment

In January, 2014 five German grocery stores received a surprise inside their banana shipments -- cocaine. Workers in the Berlin supermarkets found $8.2 million worth of the drug in 7 crates of bananas. The crates were part of a much larger shipment of 1,134 crates from Colombia to Hamburg, Germany. German police "believe that contraband got sent to the stores due to a 'logistical error' by smugglers." 


Also in Germany, smugglers turned to freshly baked pastries to hide their stash. Rolls of money were found in the baked goods in Berlin. The wads of dough were found during a crack-down on illegal money laundering.

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