Extreme Travel

The crazy contraband foods smugglers sneak into America

Not all smugglers have suitcase linings packed with cocaine or ceramic busts filled with ecstasy. Some are transporting illegal cargo of the edible variety. Unfortunately for gutsy gourmands, though, border agents are no less forgiving of contraband meat than they are of methamphetamine tablets.

The father of journalist Bo Hanna found this out the hard way. In a Vice article that proclaims “smuggling food through the airport can be harder than smuggling cocaine,” the author rats out his dad for trying to sneak stuffed pigeons past border authorities in Amsterdam.

Once the illicit eats were discovered, Papa Hanna asked if he could keep at least one of the oven-ready birds. His cheekiness was rewarded by stern officials trashing the delicacies right in front of him.

Travelers crossing borders into the U.S. are no less daring with their foodie contraband. Every day, U.S. Customs and Border Protection separates travelers from around 4,638 verboten plant and animal products.

This past February, according to Dallas News, a woman flying into Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport got caught with 22 pounds of raw, exotic meat. Her haul included brains, hearts, feet, heads and tongues. Not long before that, a would-be wily traveler flying into the same airport from El Salvador reportedly declared fried chicken — but actually packed raw poultry. (He might have tried the tricky, if unsuccessful, ploy of a pig fanatic crossing the Mexican border: Wrapping pork in diapers.)

This article originally appeared in the New York Post.