pacific mackerel
Wikimedia/Wibowo Djatmiko

Smugglers Hide Ton of Cocaine in Frozen Fish

Shanghai customs agents found over a ton of cocaine in a huge shipment of fish

If you really want to hide something, sneaking it into something smelly and distasteful is often a pretty good way to do it. A massive smuggling operation tried that recently, but they underestimated the tenacity of the Shanghai customs agents who found their cocaine inside a shipment of frozen mackerel.


According to Shanghaiist, customs agents found 1.1 tons of cocaine hidden inside 20 tons of frozen Pacific mackerel that stopped in Shanghai on its way from South America to Cambodia. It’s not quite as bad as the time customs agents found frozen seafood shipments were being used to smuggle human kidneys, but it’s still the biggest cocaine bust Chinese customs agents have uncovered in years. It’s twice the size of the hoard of cocaine found in a shipment of frozen shrimp in New York, and that had an estimated street value of $12 million.


The cocaine was actually discovered back in November, but it was kept secret until now because Chinese authorities actually packed up the mackerel shipment and sent it on its way as though the cocaine had never been discovered.


Then they waited for someone to come pick up the mackerel and arrested four suspects. Three others reportedly got away.


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Click here to see 10 foods customs agents won’t let you bring into the U.S.