German customs seize coke bound for Vatican in South American condoms. From Berlin comes the following report. —
‘The drug haul was unremarkable, but the destination raised eyebrows.
German officials intercepted a shipment of cocaine destined for the Vatican in January, weekly Bild am Sonntag reported Sunday. [Talk about ‘snail mail’ – Ed]
Officers at Leipzig airport found 340 grams (12 ounces) of the drug packed into 14 condoms smuggled inside a shipment of cushions coming from South America, the paper, reported citing a German customs report. It said the package was simply addressed to the Vatican postal office, meaning any of the Catholic mini-state’s 800 residents could have picked it up.
The paper reported that a subsequent sting operation arranged with Vatican police failed to nab the intended recipient. No one claimed the package, indicating that he or she was tipped off about the plan. The drugs would have a street value of several tens of thousands of euros, and worth a lot more in dollars.
A spokesman for the German Finance Ministry, which oversees the customs office, confirmed the report. Prosecutors in Leipzig planned to issue a statement Monday providing further details, Martin Chaudhuri told The Associated Press.
Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi confirmed that the Vatican police had cooperated with German police in an attempt to identify the traffickers. He said the investigation remained open’ [like a nostril, no doubt.- Ed]