Cocaine haul was destined for Vatican

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 25 March, 2014, 12:17am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 25 March, 2014, 12:17am


The drug haul was unremarkable, but the destination raised eyebrows.

German customs officials intercepted a shipment of cocaine destined for the Vatican in January, weekly Bild am Sonntag reported at the weekend.

Officers at Leipzig airport found 340 grams of the drug packed into 14 condoms inside a shipment of cushions coming from South America, according to the paper, citing a German customs report.

It said the package was simply addressed to the Vatican postal office, meaning any of the Catholic mini-state's 800 residents could have picked it up.

The paper said that a subsequent sting operation arranged with Vatican police failed to catch the intended recipient.

No one claimed the package, indicating that he or she had been tipped off about the plan. The drugs would have had a street value of up to €40,000 (HK$428,000), the paper said.

The German Finance Ministry, which oversees the customs office, confirmed the report.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi confirmed that the Vatican police had co-operated with German police in an attempt to identify the traffickers.

Father Lombardi said that the investigation remained open.

Bild am Sonntag said the drugs were in liquid form that had been poured into the condoms.

The newspaper said that the Vatican office of Interpol was now involved in the investigation.

Additional reporting by Agence France-Presse