Customs Seize Cocaine Worth Millions Disguised As Ground Coffee And Paper Drawings

Customs officers have seized cocaine worth millions that they said was disguised as ground coffee, hidden in paper drawings and even inside bars of soap.

Newsflash obtained a statement from the Central Customs Office in Cologne, a city in the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, on Monday, 21st March, in which it said that its officers had seized 62.22 kilogrammes (136 lbs) of cocaine hidden in parcels at Germany’s seventh largest passenger airport in the first six weeks of the year alone, a sixfold increase compared to last year.

The seized drugs, according to the customs office, have a street value of EUR 4.53 million (GBP 3.78 million) and some were even disguised as ground coffee in a bid to pass through customs undetected.

Cologne customs found 92 packages with more than 46 kilograms of black-colored cocaine disguised as coffee powder in March 2022. (Hauptzollamt Koln/Newsflash)

Central Customs Office spokesman Jens Ahland is quoted in the statement as saying: “With this series of seizures, we have increased our 2021 annual result of the amount of cocaine seized in parcels at the airport more than sixfold.”

Ahland added that some of the cocaine had been coloured black to look like ground coffee. He said: “The bull’s-eye among our seizures was a shipment at the beginning of February. Ninety-two packages were supposed to contain ground coffee. However, a rapid drug test showed that it was more than 46 kilogrammes of black-coloured cocaine.”

He also said that some of the drugs were found in liquid form, having been disguised as oil and car cleaner. He said: “In other shipments, almost 10 kilogrammes of the drug were smuggled as an aqueous solution, i.e. in liquid form, in care oil and car cleaner bottles.”

Cologne customs found 92 packages with more than 46 kilograms of black-colored cocaine disguised as coffee powder in March 2022. (Hauptzollamt Koln/Newsflash)

The customs office declined to give details regarding where the cocaine had originated for reasons of investigative tactics, with the authorities no doubt looking into who was involved in the failed attempts to smuggle the drugs into Germany.

Ahland said that the smugglers’ tactics were becoming increasingly sophisticated, with cocaine found in bars of soap and hidden inside paper drawings. He said: “In addition to the enormous amount of cocaine, the drug stashes were once again extraordinary. Cocaine deposits in bars of soap, kilogrammes of cocaine built into an oxygen device or hidden wafer-thin in paper drawings sometimes leave even experienced customs officers speechless.”

The Customs Investigation Office in Essen, the fourth-largest city of North Rhine-Westphalia after Cologne, Duesseldorf and Dortmund, is reportedly conducting further investigations.

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