Crime

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   Stories within News From Elsewhere tagged as Crime are most often related to massive quantities of drugs hidden within agricultural shipments. As an endless stream of agricultural products are routinely shipped across borders and around the world every day, hiding other commodities within these shipments is not uncommon. Sometimes the value of the drugs contained in the shipments can reach tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars.

Avocadon't smuggle $6.6 million of drugs in produce

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-15 Tue 08:21
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U.S. Customs & Border Protection, Office of Field Operations at the Pharr International Bridge cargo facility intercepted a load of hard narcotics consisting of alleged methamphetamine and heroin that was concealed within a commercial shipment of produce arriving from Mexico. The estimated street value of the seizure is $6.67 million.

“Significant narcotics interdiction enforcement actions like these have direct and immediate impact on the smuggling organizations who operate in our area,” said Port Director Carlos Rodriguez, port of Hidalgo/Pharr/ Anzalduas. “CBP Field Operations maintains a robust enforcement posture while continuing to facilitate and process legitimate trade and travel, which is a delicate balance.”

On Sep. 12, 2020, a tractor/trailer hauling a commercial shipment of avocados arrived at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge cargo facility and a CBP officer referred the conveyance for further inspection, which included the utilization of non-intrusive imaging equipment. The thorough secondary examination resulted in officers discovering suspected narcotics hidden within the trailer. Officers removed 48 packages of alleged methamphetamine weighing 326 pounds and one package of alleged heroin weighing 2.41 pounds.

UK: Millions of pounds of cocaine found in vegetable shipments

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Aug-26 Wed 11:03
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More than £4 million worth of cocaine was found on freight flights from Kingston, Jamaica. According to the Home Office, all drugs were confiscated by Border Force officials in a series of seizures in August. “Some 22kg of cocaine was seized on 11 August, estimated to be worth £1.8 million. A further…

More than 2 tons of cocaine found in fruit shipments

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Aug-18 Tue 10:04
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This weekend, customs officers at the port of Rotterdam discovered a total of 2,100 kilograms of cocaine hidden in two fruit shipments from Ecuador and Costa Rica. The drugs had a total street value of over 157 million euros, the Public Prosecution Service said. The first batch of 1,100 kilograms of…

Seven tons of marijuana crosses the lime

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Aug-12 Wed 10:16
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U.S. Customs & Border Protection officers intercepted almost 15,000 pounds of marijuana in what was supposed to be a shipment of limes. The narcotics have an estimated street value of almost $60 million.

At the Otay Mesa cargo crossing, CBP officers sent a tractor-trailer to the dock for further inspection after discovering anomalies during a scan by X-ray imaging system.  CBP officers opened the boxes and found large, tape-wrapped packages inside the many boxes manifested as limes. Officers found 622 large, tape-wrapped packages inside the boxes, containing 14,880 pounds of marijuana.  The narcotics have an estimated street value of almost $60 million.

CBP officers also intercepted 668 pounds of methamphetamine hidden in a cactus shipment. CBP officers searched inside the crates of cactus pads (which are often used in nopales, or prickly pear, dishes and drinks) and found packages, wrapped with green tape, hidden inside among the pads.

“International drug trafficking organizations will use whatever means they can think of to try and move their illicit shipments into the U.S.,” said Pete Flores, director of field operations for CBP in San Diego. “CBP officers dedicate their careers to protecting our country by securing the border.  For them, these unusual seizures are all in a day’s work.”

In total, officers found 590 packages. The narcotics have an estimated street value of over $1.5 million.

 

Colombia: Cocaine seized in banana shipment bound for Antwerp

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Aug-12 Wed 09:37
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Anti-drug officials in Santa Maria, Colombia, have seized 1,100 kilograms of cocaine bound for Antwerp on Sunday. According to UN Container Control Program coordinator Bob Van den Berghe, the drugs were packed in cases of bananas. In 2020, port control units with the support of the UN program have…

Bad apples say $19M meth shipment is produce

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Aug-12 Wed 09:35
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U.S. Customs & Border Protection, Office of Field Operations officers at the Pharr International Bridge cargo facility hit it out of the park again with the seizure of another huge load of alleged methamphetamine worth $19.8 million discovered in a commercial produce shipment arriving from Mexico.

“This is another significant strike our officers have made on the methamphetamine smuggling industry,” said Port Director Carlos Rodriguez, port of Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas. “Large seizures like this one underscore the severity of the drug threat and show that our officers remain fiercely dedicated to upholding our border security mission.”

On Aug. 7, a 29-year-old man, a Mexican citizen from Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico arrived at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge cargo facility driving a tractor-trailer containing a commercial shipment of produce. A secondary inspection of the conveyance resulted in CBP officers discovering 521 packages of alleged methamphetamine weighing 992 pounds concealed within the floor of the trailer.

CBP OFO seized the narcotics, the tractor-trailer and arrested the driver. Agents with Homeland Security Investigations continue with the investigation.

Lisbon: 375 kilograms of cocaine hidden in banana container seized

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Aug-11 Tue 09:37
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Portugal’s National Unit to Combat Narcotics Trafficking has stated that “in recent days, it has launched an operation to combat international drug trafficking, aiming at the seizure of a high quantity of cocaine”. It was within the scope of this operation, which had the support of the Tax and Customs…

$16 million broccoli shipment is mostly meth

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Aug-06 Thu 11:56
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U.S. Customs & Border Protection, Office of Field Operations at the Pharr International Bridge cargo facility discovered $16.1 million worth of alleged methamphetamine within a commercial trailer hauling a shipment of fresh broccoli.

“This is a substantial amount of hard narcotics that our officers have detected and seized from drug trafficking organizations attempting to smuggle these drugs across our border,” said Carlos Rodriguez, port director, Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry. “By preventing this drug load from reaching the U.S., CBP advances its border security mission, protecting our citizens and communities.”

On Aug. 3, 2020, a 51-year-old male Mexican citizen arrived at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge cargo facility driving a tractor/trailer that contained a commercial shipment of fresh produce. A CBP officer referred the shipment for further inspection, which included a non-intrusive imaging system inspection that allowed the officers to discover packages of suspected narcotics concealed within the trailer. The inspection continued into the following day when ultimately officers removed 1,561 packages of alleged methamphetamine that weighed 804.69 pounds.

Singapore: Five importers fined for bringing in fruit and vegetables illegally

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Jul-23 Thu 09:18
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In Singapore, five importers were fined a total of $28,000 for bringing in food products that did not conform to import permit requirements. This was made clear by the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) in a statement on Wednesday. The agency said that its officers had detected 2,565 kg of undeclared and…

Malaysia finds 1,800 tonnes of illegal toxic waste dumped at port

Submitted by Andrew Simard on 2020-Jul-20 Mon 09:09
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Malaysia has discovered 110 containers of illegally dumped toxic waste in what authorities are calling "the biggest finding of its kind" in the country's history, according to state media Bernama.

Brazil's beef and soy exports to the EU linked to illegal deforestation, study finds

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Jul-16 Thu 12:15
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Around half of Brazil's beef exports and almost a quarter of soy exports to the European Union could be linked to illegal deforestation in two of the country's most ecologically important regions, according to a new study, which could have serious consequences for international trade agreements and efforts to combat the climate crisis.

US Border Patrol find $30.5 million worth of meth hidden in Mexican onion shipment

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Jul-15 Wed 11:37
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Agents from the US Customs and Border Patrol discovered $30.5 million worth of methamphetamine hidden inside a shipment of fresh onions from Mexico. Officials working at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge made the discovery on July 9. A Mexican citizen arrived at the bridge hauling a tractor-trailer…

US: CBP officers seize $3.7 million in methamphetamine at Pharr International Bridge

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Jul-13 Mon 09:20
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations (OFO) at the Pharr International Bridge cargo facility intercepted $3,704,000 worth of alleged methamphetamine that was hidden within a commercial shipment of fresh produce. “Our officers at the cargo facility are committed to upholding our…

Romanian drug smuggler uses fake fruit and veg business to traffic cocaine

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Jul-10 Fri 11:03
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Narcis-Bogdan Stoica from Neamt County in Romania tried to use a fake fruit and vegetable business as a cover for trafficking 15 kilos of Class A drugs into Kent, the United Kingdom. At Canterbury Crown Court, on Thursday, he pleading guilty to attempting to import the drugs which had a potential street…

Secret torture site discovered in shipping containers

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Jul-08 Wed 11:34
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Authorities in the Netherlands have discovered an apparent torture site hidden inside shipping containers, which were lined with sound-proofing material and filled with assumed torture devices, the country's National Prosecutor's Office has said.

Nearly €58 mln worth of cocaine found in pineapple shipment

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Jul-07 Tue 13:31
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Authorities working out of Amsterdam and The Hague managed to seize a shipment of 780 kilograms of cocaine, hidden in a container loaded with pineapples from Costa Rica. The drugs had a street value of over 58 million euros. The packages of cocaine were found inside a cooling and storage company in…