Crazy Contraband: photo gallery of weird confiscated stuff, including drugs and critters

ecstasy.jpg MR. POTATOECSTASY: A Mr Potatohead toy containing 293 grams of ecstasy seized by Australian Customs at a mail center in Sydney, Australia is seen in this undated handout photograph. The parcel was posted from Ireland and sent to a residential address in Sydney's western suburbs. (Reuters/Australian Customs/Handout)

More photographs of weird things seized by customs and law enforcement officials, including drugs and living creatures, below.

lizard.jpg LONELY LIZARD: A customs officer presents a live chameleon during a news conference by the customs duty office at the Frankfurt airport in 2007. Customs officers displayed various items and reptiles that had been confiscated while being illegally smuggled into Germany. (Reuters/Alex Grimm)

drugskirt.jpg FISH SKIRT: A woman on a flight from Singapore to Melbourne shows the 51 live tropical fish hidden in a specially designed apron under her skirt in this 2005 handout photograph from the Australian Customs Service. Customs officers became suspicious after hearing "flipping" noises coming from the vicinity of her waist, and an examination revealed 15 plastic water-filled bags holding concealed fish. (Reuters)

geckobook.jpg GECKO BOOK: Australian native geckos concealed in a hollowed out book which were seized by Customs officials are seen in this 2008 photo. Australian Customs officials were alerted by Australia Post to a suspect express mail package bound for the Czech Republic. Customs investigators responded and took possession of the package. Inside they found a hollowed-out book containing two adult and two baby southern leaf tail geckos. (Reuters/Australian Customs/Handout)

lube.jpg NOT "GAY LUBE OIL": Some of the 150 bottles containing illegal liquid steroids hidden inside sexual lubricant packaging seized by the Australian Customs is seen in this 2008 handout. Customs said that the bottles, labeled as "gay lube oil", actually contained prohibited performance and image enhancing drugs manufactured and sent from Thailand. (Reuters/Australian Customs/Handout)

mule.jpg DRUG MULE: One of 200 cement yard statues shaped like a donkey is shown on display in this 2009 handout image provided by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. Law enforcement agents seized 1800 pounds of marijuana valued at $1.5 million that had been hidden in the 200 statues in the cities of Fontana, California and Sun Valley, California. (Reuters/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement/Handout)

pigeonpants.jpg PIGEON PANTS: Live pigeons are pictured, stuffed into the tights of a man, at Melbourne International Airport in this 2009 picture released by Australian Customs. The man, a passenger on a flight from Dubai, was discovered with a live pigeon stuffed in each leg of his tights, as well as two bird eggs, plant seeds and undeclared samples of eggplant after a search by customs and border control officers and was handed over to Australian Quarantine and Inspection Services staff, according to local media. (Reuters/Australian Customs/Handout)

eggs.jpg COCAINE EGGS: A cache of cocaine concealed inside dozens of fake candy Easter eggs is pictured in this 2010 photograph released by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. ICE officials arrested Esteban Galtes from Miami, Florida on a drug smuggling charge after he was intercepted at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on December 23, 2010, attempting to smuggle in a cache of cocaine. Officers searched Galtes' luggage and discovered more than 14 pounds of cocaine, much of it camouflaged as pastel-colored, egg-shaped candies with the remainder of the cocaine secreted under the cardboard bottom of a paper shopping bag. The seized cocaine has an estimated street value of more than $100,000. (Reuters/ICE/Handout)

frogs.jpg FROG FILM: This 2004 photo released by Belgian police shows exotic frogs from Panama that were discovered by customs officials in film boxes at Brussels national airport. More than 500 amphibian creatures were smuggled into the country by two Belgian citizens to sell on the black market at about 150 euros each. (Reuters/Ho/Belgian Customs Authorities)

statues.jpg SPEED STATUES: Two Australian Customs officers hold statues made of ephedrine, a drug used to make "speed" or methamphetamine, after they were seized in raids in Sydney in 2005. (Reuters/Australian Customs/Handout DG/PN)

door.jpg COKE DOOR: A wooden door, imported from Mexico and containing about 5 kg (11 pounds) of cocaine, seized by Australian Customs officials in Sydney in 2005. The Australian police charged a 32-year-old Mexican national with attempted possession of a prohibited import. (Reuters)


  1. I gotta say, that lizard in a book is pretty darn clever. Would make a awesome terrarium, a giant book, with a lizard in the middle.

  2. The plan to label the steroids Gay Lube Oil to distract the custom officers by making them rofl during inspections backfired.

  3. I remember the guy with the pigeons strapped to his legs; news stories said he was also carrying an undisclosed aubergine. I resolved that, if I ever have a rock band, it will be called Undisclosed Aubergine.

    1. Steroids. Take enough of them and your testes shrink, so you look more streamlined in your speedo. Or you just want to show off more muscle, and don’t really care about being stronger.

  4. The DEA used to provide a handy monthly publication just like this, The Microgram Bulletin. In January of 2010, they took all the fun stuff, the pictures of crafty drug seizures, fake and novel drugs, etc. out and moved that material behind a law enforcement-only private server. But the old stuff, which is still available at the link, is really interesting, and makes for great browsing.

  5. Anyone with inside information care to clue us in on how some of these really clever ones are discovered? Besides informants, and rigorous inspection, the really crafty cases are presumably only a drop in the ocean of what gets through.

  6. Apparently image enhancing drugs are for realz.

    That man has some hella hairy legs.

    And, I really want me a ZOLL patch…because its awesome. Bow to your dragon/eagle master, the almighty ZOLL!

  7. I always knew the animal smuggling was terrible. Then I learned that many of the smugglers have no idea what they’re doing and many of the animals don’t live long enough to be sold. That’s beyond greed.

    1. I had a friend who grew up in Miami. Used to go dumpster diving. Until the day that he landed in the dumpster full of dead monkeys.

  8. Mr. Potato Head isn’t completely undated.

    As Australian Customs and Border Protection Service published the finding and related images on the 4th of October 2007, I’d be willing to make an educated guess that he was seized a few weeks or months prior to that, given that the Australian Federal Police has had some time to investigate the matter.

  9. If I had come up with the idea of holding drugs within a door, I would think I would get away with it scot-free.

  10. Wow, I actually used to live in Fontana, can’t recall ever seeing any statues shaped like donkeys though.

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