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October 03, 2011

Struth! Clam Coke an Open and Shucked Case


IN his continuing search for the more weird, wacky and wondrous in the world of travel, David Ellis says that when US Customs and Border Protection officers at Washington Dulles International Airport did a random search of a  bag belonging to a visitor from El Salvador, they didn't quite expect what was inside.

Because amongst everything else was a plastic package containing eighty clams.

That alone was enough to have them asking questions, but they had even more when they found that fifteen of the clams couldn't be opened – because they had been super-glue shut.

And the reason? When they x-rayed and finally managed to open the suspicious fifteen, they allegedly found not clam meat, but instead small plastic packages of cocaine inside each one.

The bag's owner has been charged with attempting to smuggle 152 grams of cocaine with a street value of US$10,000 into the United States.

A Customs and Border Protection agent told newspapers: "Its certainly one of the oddest smuggling attempts we've seen…"

Which is saying something, considering past hauls have included cocaine packed into statues of Jesus and the Virgin Mary, stuffed with giblets into frozen chicken carcasses and mixed-in with powdered soups.

They have also confiscated 40kg of sheep meat in one man's suitcase, fourteen giant African snails in another's, elephant tails in one person's backpack, and a dried hedgehog in another, and heroin soaked into a pair of a woman's legwarmers.

It makes the-once-considered risqué stuffing of illicit concoctions into women's bras seem pretty ordinary.


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