US flag Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Archived Content

In an effort to keep current, the archive contains content from a previous administration or is otherwise outdated.

CBP Seizes Nearly 9 Pounds of Opium Hidden in Bars of Soap

Release Date: 
September 15, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers assigned to the international mail facility at San Francisco International Airport discovered 8.9 pounds of opium while examining a package declared as soap.

opium in bar of soap

CBP offiers discovered 8.9 pounds of opium hidden inside bars of soap at international mail facility in San Francisco.

The airmail package from Thailand arrived at the U.S. Postal Service International Service Center at SFO on Tuesday September 9, and was sent through a CBP monitored x-ray machine.

CBP officers and agriculture specialists opened the package for a closer inspection of the contents. Inside they discovered 66 individually boxed bars of soap.

opium in soap

CBP officer inspecting a bar of soap with opium hidden inside.

“Smugglers will often take unusual measures in an attempt to conceal their product,” said Brian J. Humphrey, CBP Director of Field Operations in San Francisco. “With the help of world-class training and experience, our CBP officers and agriculture specialists work vigilantly 24/7 to keep dangerous goods and illegal merchandise from entering the country.”

One of the bars of soap was cut open to reveal that it had been hollowed out, and contained a black ball of unknown substance. Officers tested the substance and determined it was opium, a Schedule II Controlled Substance. Each of the 66 bars contained a ball of opium, with a total weight of 8.9 pounds.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017