UNITED NATIONS — A 16 kilo (35.5 pounds) consignment of cocaine lost by Mexican drug traffickers has turned up in an unlikely place -- the United Nations in New York.
Police and UN officials Thursday told how two fake UN diplomatic pouches containing drugs -- which experts said had a street value of more than $2 million -- sparked an alert when they were delivered by accident to the global body's headquarters.
The bags, which had the UN symbol printed on them, were shipped from Mexico through the DHL shipping company's center in Cincinnati, Ohio, Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne of the New York Police Department told AFP.
But the bags had no address on them, nor any return to sender details.
"It is my understanding that because there was no addressee, the DHL just thought well that's the UN symbol so we should ship it on to UN headquarters and let them figure out who it was supposed to go to," Browne said.
The two UN bags were "obvious fakes" and were quickly intercepted by security staff when they arrived on January 16. Inside were 14 hard cover books hollowed out to hide the cocaine.
"Somebody in Mexico is probably in trouble now having let a significant amount of cocaine out of their possession," said Browne.
UN assistant secretary general Gregory Starr told reporters there was no evidence that anyone from the United Nations was linked to the bags.
"In my humble opinion this was the work of narcotics traffickers that were trying to ship something into the United States and their plan must have gone wrong," said Starr, who is in charge of UN security.
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