Vatican cocaine destined to an unknown recipient inside of Rome’s sacred city-state was seized at a German airport. Inside of the plain package, which contained cushions and pillows, were 14 condoms filled with a liquid form of cocaine.
“The drug haul was unremarkable, but the destination raised eyebrows,” reads the March 23 report from The Associated Press.
German custom officials said the package was simply addressed to the Vatican City post office; no specific recipient was designated on the package. With no explicit member of Rome’s Vatican enclave selected as the receiver, any one of the approximate 800 residents could have picked up the package.
German newspaper Bild am Sonntag, which reported the incident over the weekend, said the condoms were seized at Leipzig/Halle Airport. The cocaine package originated from an unnamed South American country.
Media reports that say the drug shipment was seized over the past weekend are inaccurate. The drugs were actually discovered in January, but officials had allowed the drugs to go through to their intended recipient. Unfortunately, the package has been sitting at the Vatican post office for over two months.
“I can confirm the incident as reported,” a spokesperson from the German Finance Ministry said. “But we cannot say anything more about the case.”
German and Vatican officials attempted to set up a sting to see who would come along to claim the package. However, the addressee never revealed themselves; evidently they were tipped off not to pick up the drug-filled package.
Reads the AP report:
The paper reported that a subsequent sting operation arranged with Vatican police failed to nab the intended recipient. No one claimed the package, indicating that he or she was tipped off about the plan. The drugs would have a street value of several tens of thousands of Euros.
Vatican officials and Pope Francis have not commented on the incident.