Drugs and children's books

Guilty secrets - drugs seizure

children's encyclopedia and photo album

Front covers of innocent-looking books

Some people are prepared to exploit the innocent appearance of children’s books and toys, in their attempts to smuggle illegal items into the country.

These two books were seized by Customs from two passengers arriving at Heathrow Airport. At first glance they appear quite harmless - a hard-backed children's encyclopaedia and photo album. On closer inspection heroin was found hidden in the covers of both books. A carefully constructed concealment using carbon paper was used to cover the drug. The smugglers hoped this would help avoid detection during x-ray examinations. The passengers had arrived from the Far East and claimed not to know one another. However photographs showing the two together were found in the album.

These books are not the only example of children's belongings being used to hide illicit goods. In another incident Customs Officers have even found a stash of diamonds in a tube of germaline. Other everyday items that have been used for smuggling include an umbrella, an NHS crutch and even a cricket ball!

view inside the encyclopedia showing where drugs were hidden

Heroin was concealed within the book covers

These books are not currently on display.

Accession numbers CENM1995.3/1-2