Large shipments of fruit coming into Hong Kong are not uncommon, but normally perishable materials are picked up as soon as possible so they can be delivered while still fresh, so when a large shipment of dragon fruit from Colombia was not picked up for two days, agents got suspicious. When they investigated, they wound up finding a well-hidden stash of liquid cocaine worth $2 million.
According to South China Morning Post, customs agents at the Hong Kong Airport were forced to hand-inspect 2,000 dragon fruits one at a time to figure out which ones contained contraband, and how much. The agents were pretty impressed by how well-hidden the cocaine was, but that’s probably not much comfort to the criminals who are now out $2 million in drugs.
“Part of the fruit layer was peeled off and pulp was removed before liquid cocaine was injected into the hollow center and the layer glued back on,” an investigator said. “From appearance, it was hard to distinguish the ones concealing illegal drugs. Officers had to inspect them one by one.”
It was a fastidious operation. The shipment included 50 boxes containing more than 2,000 dragon fruits, but only 98 of the fruits contained cocaine. Those fruits were scattered throughout the boxes, so they were virtually impossible to find.
Each cocaine-filled fruit had about 130 grams of cocaine, so about 33 pounds were discovered in all. The late truck driver was arrested when he showed up looking for the fruit, and the investigation is reportedly ongoing.