Some drug smugglers build complex narco-submarines that silently and effectively evade authorities in open waters. Others just say screw it and go for the first trick that comes to mind.
This is a story about the second kind of smuggler.
Spanish police said this week that they'd caught a man trying to smuggle more than a pound of cocaine under his toupee. As in, he had the package of drugs — a few inches thick and worth $33,000 — taped to his bald head, with a bulging toupee plonked on top of it.
In a tweet announcing the arrest, which was made in June after the man arrived on a flight from Bogotá, Colombia, the Spanish National Police released photos of the 65-year-old man with what appeared to be a cellophane-wrapped package of drugs on his head.
Police said it was actually his nerves, and not his bulging bump of hair, that first raised suspicions.
"His toupee was very curious, but the agents there have a lot of expertise and they pay attention to people's attitude," the Spanish National Police told the newspaper La Vanguardia. "His nervousness was very noticeable as he was about to pass the security checkpoint."
He did have the good sense to wear a hat over his toupee, but alas, it wasn’t enough to get past the authorities.
This is likely the first time someone has been caught using a toupee to cover drugs, but smugglers have been known to resort to, let’s say, creative lengths in the past. Would-be smugglers have used everything from breast implants, to bananas, to an Xbox to get the job done.
Cover: 21 June 2018, Germany, Munich: Curator of the Store Room of the Public Prosecution Service, Anton Jofer, holding a bag with confiscated cocaine at the press conference with the Munich Public Prosecution Service. Photo by: Lino Mirgeler/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images