Smuggling drugs into the USA has become passe. For those that really want to walk on the wild side, why not try smuggling African Bush Meat? Or, how about dead fruit bat? The customs controls officers at Dulles International Airport have some interesting stories to tell.
One officer found a full body smoked monkey. Its face and teeth were still clearly visible. Another officer discovered in someone’s luggage two full length uncooked cow legs. Many of the meats are considered delicacies in other countries.
Often officers say people want to bring something from their homeland for friends or relatives.
“From South America they like to bring a roasted hamster called quwi,” said Jones. “It still has the face and the teeth and the claws.”
Not too surprisingly, drugs manage to get smuggled now and again too. Some people are actually quite clever in trying to come up with ways, unfortunately their methods aren’t always thought through fully.
Suspect bags get searched and x-rayed. Once inspectors found a roasted chicken, but that wasn’t grandma’s stuffing inside.
“It looked too full. The x-ray looked solid and they decided, let’s take a look at this. It didn’t just look right and upon looking at the chicken the contents happen to be cocaine inside,” said Officer Christopher Downing, a Customs Supervisor
Of course, who can forget Djibouti, the African root that makes you feel nice after a bit of chewing. I remember hearing stories of how before this root was well known, people would bring pounds of the stuff across the border. Unfortunately, today too many people know about it and are on the lookout.
On a more personal level, I remember my sister getting stopped at Dulles trying to bring Salo (Pork Fat) from Ukraine. She was stopped, her suitcases were all confiscated and she was fined $100. The suitcases were later returned, but they stamped her passport with some smugglers mark.
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