A typical day-to-day work of customs agents and TSA officers can be monotonous for the most part even at a busy airport, but then again there are times when non-typical things happen.
We have heard from the news and social media how travelers from all around the world trying to bring banned substances, illegal goods, and even live animals and plants pass airport’s securities.
In some cases, the passengers carrying contrabands failed to declare the items; in other cases, they were trying to deceit the security officers and hoping to get away with anything they had in luggage, strapped to the their bodies, or hidden somewhere among their belongings.
Thanks to the diligent works of security officers, prohibited items could be confiscated and handed over to the authorities.
Restrictions for carry-on luggage have become stricter over the years for various reasons mostly safety, security, agricultural, and environmental.
Despite the clear restrictions and regulations, some people were still stubbornly trying to smuggle all kinds of thing including live animals through security airports to no avail.
Here are some of the most notable and ridiculous ones over the years.
10 Agricultural Threat Level: Lemon
No one will say that lemons could be dangerous fruits to carry with you on a flight, except airport security officers, especially in New Zealand.
Back in March 2014, a woman tried to fool customs agents in the country by hiding six lemons in her trousers.
She was on her way back from Hong Kong to New Zealand. Sniffer dogs at Auckland airport detected the citrus contraband.
Apparently lemons are among the fruits you cannot take to New Zealand from other countries due to agricultural reasons. The airport put the women on the next flight back to Hong Kong.
9 Commercially Packaged Cow Dung
In February 2016, a traveler tried to bring even more peculiar contraband to New Zealand: cow dung.
This time it was not an attempt to smuggle the contraband, because the traveler who came from Malaysia actually declared what he brought in his luggage.
He said it was a “commercially packaged dung” to be used for ritual burning at a Hindu temple located at Ōtāhuhu, a suburb of Auckland.
Cow pats have been traditionally used in rural areas of Pakistan and India to light fires indeed.
Still, the material might contain parasites, seeds, and diseases that could pose biosecurity threats to New Zealand’s agricultural industry.
8 Snakes And Turtles In Trousers
A man was stopped after going through body scanner at Miami International Airport in August 2011.
There was actually nothing wrong with his body, but the same could not be said to the additional luggage stuffed in his trousers.
Following a further search, security officers found bags of exotic tortoises and snakes he brought all the way from Brazil.
There were in total seven snakes and three tortoises discovered; all of which were confiscated by the Department of Fish and Wildlife. The unidentified passenger was then arrested.
7 Cocaine-Injected Breast Implant
Smugglers have used various methods to hide banned substances including illegal drugs from airport security.
One woman from Venezuela took it to another level when she tried to carry 1.7kg of cocaine from Colombia to Spain.
She did not hide the cocaine inside stuffed animals, beverage cans, or clothing; instead, she used bags of cocaine as breast implants.
The female officer who conducted body search noticed certain irregularities and deformation in both of the Venezuelan woman’s breasts.
She was taken to hospital for further inspections, and it turned out her breast implants contained the illegal drug.