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Cocaine leg casts and 8 other truly bizarre ways people have tried to smuggle drugs

The New Zealand police force recently discovered the largest haul of cocaine ever intercepted in the country, inside a huge, ornamental horse’s head. Talk about a drug mule! Why the smugglers chose this attention-seeking method is anyone's guess. But they're not the first to try and sneak narcotics past customs in unusual ways. Here are a few more examples of the lengths people go to making their living in the drugs trade.

Ornamental Horse Head
"Anything to declare?"... "Neigh."

The classic: inside your underwear

Underwear
Is that a massive stash of drugs in your pocket or...?

We all know that the traditional and beloved method of moving narcotic merchandise is in 'nature’s back pocket'. But one pioneering smuggler decided to push the envelope somewhat. Rather than take the tradesman’s entrance, he decided the front of the underpants had been neglected for too long. He fashioned a phallic shaped tube of hard drugs which he shoved in his Calvins and tried to strut through customs like the bass player in Spinal Tap. The cops soon noticed his hopelessly large bulge, which contained half a kilo of cocaine.

A bit hairy: underneath a wig

Wigs
It can be a bit hairy getting through customs when you're carrying a shitload of drugs

It’s possible that the mule in this story was told by their boss to ‘keep it under their hat’ and went on to take things far too literally. Two women from Guyana were found with a large amount of Peruvian Marching Powder concealed under their wigs. The drugs were moulded into a sort of ‘drug bike helmet’ with a wig draped delicately over the top. Customs officials noticed that people’s heads aren’t usually that shape and soon found the hidden stash.

No shame whatsoever: inside your child's favorite toy

A giant Mr Potato Head
You say potato, we say 5 kilos of cocaine

The innocent playthings of infants are often selected by smugglers to shift their stuff illegally. Which is a bit daft as, if you’re a shifty, sweaty middle-aged man with a bulging, misshapen My Little Pony under your arm, then my guess is you’ll probably get pulled over. Perhaps the most saddening use of a novelty is the case of the many, many ecstasy pills sent from Ireland to Australia in a Mr Potato Head. No? Not Mr Potato Head? The sweet, face-changing vegetable that every child loves? Have they no shame? Apparently not.

X-stasy Box

A man using a games controller as a bong
Who needs video games when you've got loads of drugs?

And when you can't find a suitable toy, you can always upgrade to a video games console. Texas police pulled over a fairly innocent looking vehicle for a minor motoring violation. The cops grew suspicious when the driver kept nervously glancing at the bag on the passenger seat beside him. Inside they found a bog-standard XBox 360, which appeared a little odd. And indeed it was. Two enormous bricks of coke were found concealed within it. Who said video games aren’t addictive?

Granny's choice: inside your favorite run-around

Car
Easy Rider?

Various vehicles have been just to transport illicit substances over the years. Drugs have been crammed inside anything that rolls or floats, including submarines, motorbikes and even motorised lawnmowers. But mechanics were taken aback when, while conducting a routine check-up on the car of an 82-year-old Idaho woman, they found 1.16 pounds of cocaine, with a street value of more than $40,000, insicde. Police concluded that a former owner of the car must have stashed it there, though the lady in question had owned it for over a decade. A likely story.

No, just no: inside your pet pooch

A Labrador
Brings a whole new meaning to the term 'sniffer dog'

Now this is just despicable. A British couple decided it would be a spiffing idea to find some cocaine in Colombia and fly it over to the UK. Their transportation method of choice? Rex, their Golden Labrador. Packets of the drug were surgically inserted into the dog's stomach. But officials noticed the Rex was acting a little… odd. After some investigation they found the stash and arrested the culprits after they came to pick him up. Rex made a full recovery (another dog they used was not so lucky) though police would not say where the pooch was sent to live. He’d actually entered the canine equivalent of the witness protection program.

Inside fruit (or is it a veg?)

An avocado
Amply stoned?

Foodstuffs are a favourite when it comes to hiding swag. Easter eggs, carrots, bananas and cheese have all been utilized to conceal the goods. But surely not avocados? The beloved guacamole maker that everyone loves on toast and, to a lesser extent, in smoothies? I’m afraid so. In 1998, Dutch officials found $10 million of cocaine stuffed inside the green goodies as if they were Kinder Surprise Eggs. And what a surprise!

Break a leg: a cast with a difference

A foot in a cast
"I need all the drugs to ease the pain, officer."

Lower bodily portions are constantly in the top 10 of favorite drug-moving methods. Various potions and concoctions have been found strapped to legs, hidden in adult nappies, sewn into trousers and even stuffed into artificial limbs. But you have to admire the resourcefulness of the 66-year-old Chilean man with a broken leg. Now I know what you’re thinking. He must have hidden the drugs in the cast. Oh no. The cast was MADE of drugs. The whole thing was constructed from compressed cocaine. Amazing.

WTF!? - in coloring books (with a difference)

A coloring book
"Wow, like, seriously trippy visuals, man."

You may be aware of the adult coloring book phenomena that's currently keeping the global book industry afloat. For reasons of mindfulness and anxiety avoidance, grown-up individuals grab crayons, felt tips and anything else that makes colors and carefully fill in pictures of everything from magical ponies to Jeremy Corbyn. But genuine ‘adult’ colouring books were discovered in a New Jersey jail when the pages, which looked like they’d been lovingly daubed by actual kids, were actually found to be made from liquid opiates which the prisoners planned to soak and sup. Diabolical. But you have to admit, that’s pretty ingenious.

The drugs trade is seriously big business. Its own whole economy really. We're looking for people to write about or cover this topic for Economy. If you're interested and have an idea for a piece of content, please email contribute@ecnmy.org

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Reader Comments

  • ClawV23

    So they’re more or less becoming homeless on purpose and taking advantage of people’s kindness? That’s very disappointing, I’ve always imagined myself walking on the path of the monk but my idea of a modern monk was to achieve a level of independence at which I can grow my own food on a piece of land I own, make my own hemp clothes and live in a small log cabin somewhere outside civilization instead of begging people for a bowl of food.