In Pimp, the classic urban autobiographical book by Iceberg Slim, he expressed that a pimp has to have a vivid imagination to be a success. The same is true with drug smugglers. To evade the law, they must think of ways to get their product to Point A to Point B undetected. In the movies we’ve seen these minds at work. In Cheech & Chong’s Up In Smoke, weed was liquefied, then made into products like TV sets and a big green van. In State Property 2, Freeway and El Pollo Loco baked El Plaga’s cocaine into Virgin Mary statues. This strategy of disguising work as everyday items was recently utilized by a band of smugglers busted at the Port of Valencia in Spain. These guys compressed cocaine to look like wooden pallets.
A total of 11 coke boys were arrested with these 40 boards of blow shipped from Colombia. Sacks of charcoal were included in the delivery. In addition to the so-called wooden pallets being made of compressed coke, so was the charcoal! According to Gizmodo, more than 3,300 pounds worth $370 million of masqueraded cocaine was seized.
Gizmodo elaborated on the ploy:
As forensic scientist Richard Hooker explained to The Telegraph, you can mold cocaine into just about anything with the right chemistry and ingenuity.
“To make the cocaine look like wooden pallets they have dissolved the white cocaine powder with a solvent or glue,” Hooker said. “It has then been placed into moulds shaped like pallets to set. When the resin dries out it then solidifies. If you mix it with a dye it then gives the wood effect and gives the appearance of dark wood.”
“Once the dealers get it they can then re-dissolve it and reverse the process to extract the cocaine,” the scientist added. “The same process can also be used to make it look like pieces of charcoal by using charcoal powder.”