Smuggling is about getting what you cannot legally have, and it tends to be extremely lucrative. It’s a dark business, terrible for people and animals alike, and often, it attracts an element not quite up to the task. Here are some seriously silly tales of smuggling gone awry.
Cocaine in Goat Meat
No doubt there are countless ways people have tried to smuggle cocaine into or out of a country. And certainly, a lot of creativity goes into attempting to avoid detection, but there’s logical creativity, and there’s crazy creativity, and this one’s the latter. Yudistir Maharaj was busted when officials drilled into the frozen goat meat in his suitcase, discovering the hidden drugs. Given that frozen meat isn’t your usual carry-on, this plan seemed doomed.
Woman in Suitcase
Anyone who’s ever joked about traveling along in someone’s suitcase, it’s only a joke for a reason. An Arizona man was busted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection in January after they opened his suitcase and found some clothes. Oh yeah, and a 48-year-old Thai national. If nothing else, that suitcase sure sounds roomy, though I’m uncertain if “fits a grown woman” is a good selling point.
Hummingbirds in Pants
In 2011, a Dutch man was arrested in a French Guyana airport when security discovered he had twelve hummingbirds in tiny pouches in his pants. To make matters weirder, this was not his first time at the tiny bird rodeo; two years earlier, he’d been busted at the same airport trying to smuggle 53 birds in his pants. Perhaps he decided less is more. Fortunately, all twelve of the birds survived.
Bangkok seems to have more than its share of odd smuggling stories, as you’ll see below, but this one’s nearly adorable, if it wasn’t so awful. A woman sedated a tiger cub and packed it in a suitcase, along with a bunch of stuff toys, apparently with the idea it would simply blend in. It didn’t.
In 2013, a suitcase sat at a Bangkok airport, unclaimed. That’s probably not all that unusual, it happens. What doesn’t usually happen is airport officials scanning the luggage to find 11 living otters of two different species, both at risk of extinction in the wild. There’s only one thing to say: that smuggler otter know he was wrong to do it.