Los Angeles - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at a Los Angeles International
Airport air cargo consignment facility seized 18.4 pounds of opium which they detected concealed inside rattan furniture.
On Oct. 29, CBP officers examined a shipment arriving from Thailand manifested as a rocking chair. In actuality, the freight consisted of 22 small rattan stools all of which revealed anomalies when X-rayed. Further intensive examination revealed a dark substance which tested positive for opium.
One chair had eight packages of opium that together weighed 14.7 pounds. Additionally, in the upper rims of all the remaining stools, opium was extracted for a combined total weight of 18.4 pounds valued at $108, 680.
"CBP officers are the frontline at our nation's ports of entry. This seizure is the result of dedicated officers using their skills with advanced technology to stop the smuggling of narcotics and other contraband from entering the United States," said CBP Acting Director of Los Angeles Field Office Carlos Martel.
On a typical day in fiscal year 2009, CBP seized 6,642 pounds of drugs nationwide.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.