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The Two-Way
9:52 am
Fri January 27, 2012

35 Pounds Of Cocaine Are Mailed To U.N. Headquarters

Somehow 35.5 pounds of cocaine wrapped in a fake diplomatic sack made it to the United Nations' headquarters in New York. The AFP reports that U.N. officials said on Thursday that the cocaine had been shipped from Mexico through DHL, which handles U.N. mail.

"It is my understanding that because there was no addressee, the DHL just thought well that's the U.N. symbol so we should ship it on to U.N. headquarters and let them figure out who it was supposed to go to," Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne, of the New York Police Department told the AFP.

Once it arrived, U.N. officials immediately recognized the package as a fake. The New York Times has the details:

"Authentic pouches have the words "United Nations" and "Diplomatic Mail" printed on the outside, as well as the body's logo. But these cheap cotton bags had only the logo. There was no wording, no address, no manifest, no airway bill. They had been delivered from Mexico by the courier company DHL, according to diplomats who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the seizure.

"When the bags were opened, the contents appeared to be 14 notebooks wrapped in cellophane, [the U.N.'s head of security] said, but on further inspection they were found to be hollowed out and each one filled with a kilogram, about 2.2 pounds, of cocaine."

A U.N. spokesman told CNN that the packages were not connected to the U.N. Instead, reports the Times, it was probably a case in which someone thought they could get the shipment through the Mexican border using a fake diplomatic pouch. Obviously, they weren't expecting the shipment to really be delivered.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.