News & Opinion | July 2, 2018 5:00 am

Drug Cartels Now Smuggling Cocaine Using World Cup Merchandise

Soccer gear dipped in liquid cocaine was recently confiscated by police at a Colombian airport.

world cup
World Cup merchandise has been used to smuggle drugs across international borders. (Alex Grimm - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
FIFA via Getty Images

World Cup merchandise is now being used to smuggle cocaine across international borders, reports Maxim. Fourteen shirts styled like the Colombian national soccer team’s uniform dipped in liquid cocaine were reportedly confiscated at a Colombian airport by police, which exposed the scheme. Authorities said traffickers had dissolved about five kilograms of liquid cocaine into the shirts that were on their way to the Netherlands. Once there, the drug could be extracted from the shirts, transformed into a powder, and then distributed.

Meanwhile, Argentinian authorities found money, cocaine and marijuana packed into fake World Cup trophies in Buenos Aires. ABC News reported that 20 kilos of marijuana, 10 kilos of cocaine, 1,800 doses of crack-cocaine, and 400,000 Argentine pesos (about $14,800), were seized by officials.

Maxim reports that InSight Crime believes soccer matches are commonly used as a meeting point for drug traffickers.