There is probably nothing that the customs investigators at Cologne / Bonn Airport have not yet discovered during their controls. There are fake sexual enhancers from China, deceptively real imitation Champions League trophies, smuggled beluga caviar, fake clunkers or cheap dentures.
But now the officials have made their biggest find. The main customs office seized 173,000 ecstasy tablets with a street value of 1.3 million euros at the airport. “More ecstasy tablets have never been found in one night at a German airport,” said the spokesman for the main customs office Jens Ahland on Tuesday. The drugs were disguised as snacks made from nuts and pastries in five parcels. The bags bore harmless inscriptions such as “Tijger Nootjes” – Dutch for “tiger nuts”.
Seeds would make 21 football fields full of cannabis
Another record: 147,600 cannabis seeds were also seized by customs officers. “Never before has German customs found parcels with smuggled cannabis seeds on this scale,” said the spokesman. The seeds could be used to plant 21 soccer fields. And to illustrate the huge amount again. “Any adult in Germany could have smoked a joint,” Ahland continued.
The programs were actually labeled as respiratory masks and promotional items. But when looking at the X-rays, the customs officers had doubts about the contents of the parcels. It is possible that the perpetrators deliberately declared the parcels as respiratory masks because they are still very popular and they are then quickly waved through during the inspection – but it was not like that. According to Ahland, the street sales value is the unbelievable sum of 147 million euros. The substance could have made almost 15 tons of marijuana.
For a good year now, customs have seen an enormous increase in drug attacks. “We now find parcels with drug shipments at the airport almost every night,” reported Ahland. “Most of it is on the way from one country to another. What is particularly striking: the size of the individual items. ”What used to be a few grams can now quickly be a few kilos – especially hard drugs. During the first lockdown in spring 2020, the smugglers shifted their criminal activities to air freight. Many borders in Europe were closed, so the perpetrators had to find other ways. The spokesman for customs spoke of a European drug smuggling through the airport.
The personnel situation is therefore adjusted accordingly, but the risk analysis is also getting better and better. “Our main controls take place mainly at night,” said Ahland. “We are preparing for it.” At the beginning of the year, Cologne customs had already sent more than 5,800 letters with almost 70,000 cannabis seeds online.