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.
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.
“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.
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.