From the “You Can’t Make this Stuff Up” File

Drug smuggling edition.

Photo by SLT

Via Newsweek: Officials Seized Nearly 20,000 Coconuts Filled With Liquid Cocaine

Officials in Colombia seized nearly 20,000 coconuts filled with liquid cocaine out of more than 500 bags intended to go to Italy.

The shipment was discovered by officials on Thursday at a port in Bolívar, Colombia in a container bound for Genoa, Italy. Anti-narcotics personnel found 19,780 coconuts inside 504 canvas bags, a press release issued Thursday stated.

I have been paying serious attention to Colombia since the early 1990s, and while the drug trade was never my primary area of study, I have paid attention for these many decades and these stories are relentless. They are also continue to underscore how the profit motive induces creativity.

 In 2016, authorities at a Hong Kong airport seized nearly 100 dragon fruits injected with more than $1 million worth of liquid cocaine.


In 2019, Authorities at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston seizedapproximately 35 pounds worth of liquid cocaine inside 24 full-sized shampoo containers.

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Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Slugger says:

    You put the lime in the coconut, not cocaine!

  2. wr says:

    @Slugger: “You put the lime in the coconut”

    A song I have never never never never never understood.

    Is it a metaphor?

  3. Kathy says:

    Wasn’t cocaine dissolved in gasoline in a James Bond movie?

  4. MarkedMan says:

    @wr: My god man! It’s clearly there in the lyrics. An actual doctor (who happened to have been asleep and needed to be awakened) prescribed lime and coconut, well shaken, for an indisposition of the gastric tract.

    Just now I reviewed the lyrics and discovered the reason for the stomachache in the first place appears to be the very same lime and coconut concoction. So there’s that.

  5. becca says:

    @wr: you don’t have to have a point to have a point.
    Harry Nilsson was a musician’s musician. Without You and Coconut run a gamut, don’t they? My personal fave is Jump into the Fire. So fierce and satisfying.

  6. Joe says:

    @becca: Me and My Arrow: that’s a fine little earworm! But probably, You’re Breaking My Heart, [You’re Tearing it Apart, so . . .]. That is a very direct song.

  7. MarkedMan says:

    @becca: The Moonbeam song is one of the most hauntingly beautiful songs in his very wide repertoire.

  8. Scott F. says:

    I guess the Colombian inspectors were suspicious that Italy would want so many coconuts? Doesn’t really pair well with the Bolognese.

  9. inhumans99 says:


    Yes, one of the two Timothy Dalton Bonds, the second of his stint as Bond in License To Kill. A movie that I should have enjoyed more than I did considering I am a fan of the first Dalton Bond, The Living Daylights. I especially like the brief but intense scene from The Living Daylights with the super machine gun that has a bullet proof shield built in, nice and short but well done action set-piece.

    Back in the days when AICN (Ain’t It Cool News) had not completely revealed its sites proprietor to be a bundle of immaturity and just not a “cool” person to hang out with, there was someone in the comments section of an article that noted that the Film Score to The Living Daylights is one of the better ones from the Bond films (the horns, especially). The score is by John Berry and I listen to it from start to finish quite often.

    Anyways, getting away from the subject, and I really should be talking about License To Kill in relation to this story because turning cocaine into a liquid form is indeed the plan from the film’s villain to corner the market on Cocaine and make an unholy amount of money in the process.

    One thing about drug smugglers, they are quite inventive when it comes to trying to find new ways to get their product through customs or hidden in plain sight of the authorities that could potentially discover the drugs. Since coconuts are normally filled with a liquid that would presumably slosh around when inspected, one might not even think to consider that the coconut had been drained of juice and filled back in with cocaine, clever chaps who though of that.

  10. Kathy says:


    I’m guessing it’s hard to fool a dog trained to sniff it out.

  11. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: They were probably hoping that the dog wouldn’t be able to smell the cocaine from inside a pretty aromatic coconut.

  12. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Between an ep of Mythbusters where they couldn’t shake a bloodhound off a trail and what I’ve read about dogs, the best bet is to break the substance apart into different constituents and re-synthesize it later.

  13. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: I wasn’t suggesting that it was a good plan although it does seem logical enough for people who might think that because I have a vowel on the end of my name and dress well that I must be a highly placed figure in organized crime. (i.e. The common clay of the American West.)

  14. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Sounds far more feasible than breaking a drug into constituent compounds.

  15. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    Oh, gads yes. Due to my history, Cracker was introduced to a number of people who gave stupid a bad name. People who’d call to ask how to patch bullet holes in the rental plane. People who thought a good way to rip off drug dealers was to kick in their door dressed as DEA/cops. Blowing up a gas station as a “distraction.” People who thought that inviting Cracker and I into their “genius” plans would inevitably end well (for them). One of the great features about celebrating 40 years back in society’s bosom is the fact that either (a) I’ve outlived them all or (b) the corrections system won’t provide addressee forwarding.