Spanish police report that a Colombian man was caught trying to smuggle 1.1 pounds of cocaine under his toupee. The man had arrived in Spain on a flight from Bogota, Colombia. The cocaine seized by officials was worth about $33,000.
The man’s “curious” toupee was secured to his head with tape and sat several inches above his actual head. His behavior was suspicious and he appeared nervous, so airport officials asked him to step aside. Once he removed his toupee and revealed the drugs, Spanish police arrested the man for “a crime against public health.”
Drug trafficking can occur on large and small scales, with varying degrees of organization. While this scenario does not demonstrate a sophisticated approach, global drug trafficking is a serious problem. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s World Drug Report 2018 found that:
- The fastest-growing worldwide threat is opioids, which were responsible for 76% of drug-related deaths in 2018
- 87 tons of opioids were seized globally in 2016
- Close to 90 tons of heroin were seized internationally in 2018
- Cocaine manufacturing reached 1,410 tons in 2016, the highest amount ever recorded
- Cocaine and heroin are more than ever being compounded with other drugs
Drug traffickers have a vast knowledge of border policies. They can create elaborate chains of transport for large quantities of drugs. Border officials work tirelessly to disrupt their efforts to distribute illegal and dangerous drugs.
The United States is unique in that each state may have specific guidelines about which drugs are considered illegal. In some states, marijuana is legal.
There are also a variety of legal consequences of substance abuse and possession. In some states, police officers won’t make arrests for people possessing small quantities of illegal drugs. Many states have drug court programs, which attempt to keep people who are charged with drug abuse out of the jail system and steer them toward treatment instead.
Addiction is a chronic condition that can lead people to make dangerous or irrational choices. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, it is treatable. Contact The Recovery Village Palm Beach at Baptist Health to find out how to move beyond a life of substance abuse and find long-term recovery.
Romo, Vanessa. “Drug In A Rug: Is That A Bag Of Cocaine Under Your Toupee?” Published July 17, 2019. Accessed August 4, 2019.
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. “World Drug Report 2018: opioid crisis, prescription drug abuse expands; cocaine and opium hit record highs.” Published 2018. Accessed August 4, 2019.