Customs and Border Protection Officers (CBP) at JFK International Airport seize a shipment of opium which was concealed in acrylic cat figurines.On January 21st2011, CBP officers, stationed at JFK International Airport, examined a cargo shipment manifested as “plastic samples.”
Examination of the cargo which originated in Thailand revealed acyclic feline figurines. A more intrusive examination of the figures reveled several packages wrapped in tape within, which when probed revealed a brown tar like substance. Field tests were inconclusive; a sample of the substance was sent to CBP Labs in New York for further testing. Lab tests yielded a positive result, identifying the substance as opium.
“This interception illustrates CBP’s ability to utilize the right mix of intelligence, technology, and officer expertise,” stated Robert E. Perez, Director, Field Operations, New York Field Office. “CBP officers in the greater New York area are some of the best trained law enforcement officers in the nation who are dedicated to their mission of intercepting illicit items that adversely effect our nation’s communities.”
A total amount of over 205 pounds of opium was seized with an approximate street value of over $9.3 million.