4 Most Bizarre Items People Smuggle Through Customs

From food to animals, all sorts of odd items have been victim to smuggling attempts through customs across the globe. Here are some of the craziest items (and people for that matter) that authorities have come across.

1. Baby formula


Yam Ki Fe/Bloomberg

One example of a high trafficked food item is baby formula. Also referred to as “milk powder,” it has become a hot commodity in China. Border officials reported that more milk smuggler arrests occur than heroin arrests. Why is there such high trafficking of the product? With high taxes on formula in China, and a contamination scandal from a domestic company, there has been a high demand for foreign made baby formula. China’s infamous one child policy has put a strong emphasis on caring for children, and parents are pulling out all the stops to provide cheaper nutrients for their babies.

2. Drugs


HO News/Reuters

Drugs usually come to mind when thinking of border control. However, the way in which they have been transported is remarkable. For example, a man was stopped in Barcelona when it was discovered that his leg cast was made entirely of cocaine. An Australian customs center confiscated a Mr. Potato Head toy filled with an astounding 293 grams of ecstasy.

In California, a man attempted to travel with 45 candy bars laced entirely with methamphetamine. As if you could not imagine any other way drugs could be transported, why not breast implants? Yes, breast implants. In 2012, a woman was arrested by Spanish authorities after it was discovered that her implants were choc full of cocaine. Now that’s some thinking outside the box.

3. Exotic Animals


AP Photo/Department of Justice

It appears that one of the most commonly smuggled items are that of animals. A variety of species have been discovered in customs around the world. In June 2011, an astounding 431 rare turtles and other crocodiles were found in a man’s suitcase in Thailand. At Los Angeles International Airport, a man was arrested for strapping several hummingbirds to his pants. A woman even attempted to smuggled 15 water filled plastic bags with exotic fish in an elaborate apron hidden under her skirt. A package filled with dozens of exotic tarantulas was found in the U.S. in 2010.

4. People


Ukrainian Border Guard Press Service

People smuggling has become a profitable business in the U.S., as undocumented immigrants are on the rise in that nation. However one story is especially alarming. In 2011 Ukrainian guards arrested a French family for attempting to smuggle two infants across state lines. The babies were found sleeping underneath a mattress in a wooden coffer, in the back of a van. Talk about upsetting and truly outrageous.

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Shawna Gillen

Shawna is currently studying Political Science and Psychology at Marist College. She has a passion for politics and is an aspiring lawyer. In her spare time she likes to play club women's rugby, and contributes as the Co-News Editor for Marist's student newspaper.

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