Adorable Teddy Does Double Duty as Drug Mule | News and current affairs from Germany and around the world | DW | 31.05.2006
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Adorable Teddy Does Double Duty as Drug Mule

Suspicions of customs officials on a train travelling from the Netherlands to Switzerland were raised by a stuffed teddy bear which seemed a bit too heavy. Turned out, he was stuffed with 50,000 euros worth of cocaine.


Innocent toy or drug-running beast?

Who'd suspect a 15-year-old teenage girl with a big teddy bear to be a drug runner?

Customs officials on a high-speed train heading to Basel, Switzerland from Amsterdam weren't fooled by the ruse, especially after they picked up the 80-centimeter (31.5-inch) bear during a check and found it strangely heavy. On closer examination, they noticed that teddy had been operated on. He had some stitches on his belly that weren't from the manufacturer.

"A friend in Amsterdam give me the teddy bear as a gift," the girl told officials after repeated questions about her fuzzy friend's origin.

Only when pressed further did she come clean. Turns out, teddy wasn't there to provide companionship or act as a big soft pillow to snuggle up against; teddy was running drugs -- in his belly.

There were 72 packets of cocaine that had been sewn into the big bear. The powder's street value was estimated at around 50,000 euros ($64,000), although the teenager didn't get near that amount to carry the stuff. She told police she'd been paid just under 2,000 euros ($2,576).

German police handed the girl over to Swiss authorities and now, according to a spokesperson, an investigation has begun into the individuals behind the failed smuggling attempt.

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