Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Good little runner

BERLIN (Reuters) - German customs unwittingly auctioned a car containing 10 kgs (22 lbs) of cocaine, the Customs Investigation Authority (ZFA) in the northern city of Hamburg says.

The Chevrolet estate was originally imported from Mexico and impounded in 1997 after an X-ray revealed it was carrying 54 kgs (120 lbs) of the drug. But that wasn't all. "The software used to scan the car in 1997 was not sophisticated enough to pick up the other 10 kilograms," said Hamburg ZFA spokesman Robert Duetsch on Tuesday. The car sat in storage until being auctioned off last month, whereupon the new owner discovered 11 bags of the white powder stashed in the boot, each weighing around 900 grams.

The man immediately returned to customs with the drugs, which Duetsch said would have had a street value of some 500,000 euros in 1997.


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