In a rather ingenious method of international drug smuggling, two diplomatic bags were shipped from Mexico to the U.N. headquarters in New York containing about 35 pounds of cocaine. This is no small-time cargo. For the uninitiated, 35 pounds is worth approximately $2 million (or about three nights of partying for Tony Montana). The cocaine made its way from Mexico City to Cincinnati, where mail sorters forwarded what seemed to be unaddressed U.N. diplomatic bags to the organization's New York headquarters, according the AP. U.N. officials were suspicious of the bags because of the "poorly concocted version of the U.N. logo" on them last week. But how did the drugs go undetected during the 2,000-mile trip from Mexico City to New York?
[U.N. undersecretary-general for safety and security Gregory B.] Starr said the drug was actually stashed in two bags that were stamped with the sky-blue U.N. logo of a world map in an apparent effort to masquerade as diplomatic pouches, which are not supposed to be inspected. Inside the bag, the drug was hidden in hollowed-out notebooks, he added.
The diplomatic bags are protected by international law: their content is exempt from inspection because it's the property of foreign diplomats. This makes them a great way to smuggle contraband, such as this submachine gun illegally brought into the UK in 1984 or more recently these other shipments of cocaine brought into Nigeria this year. But according to the NYPD, the success of the international shipment was probably accidental. "The working theory now is that possibly it was never meant to have left Mexico at all," NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne said. "Somebody in Mexico is probably in trouble now having let a significant amount of cocaine out of their possession."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.