Halloween themed drug bust: Suspected cocaine smuggled in pumpkins at Montreal airport

An X-ray scan image of two of the three pumpkins stuffed with suspected cocaine that were seized Thursday at Montreal-Trudeau International Airport. Canada Border Services Agency

Border agents found a spooky Halloween surprise Thursday in three pumpkins someone tried to smuggle through the Montreal airport, authorities said — about four pounds of suspected cocaine.

The pumpkins were hollowed out, filled with about 2 kilograms of white powder in bags and recapped, the Canada Border Services Agency said. They were being transported Thursday morning by a suspect authorities would identify only as a female traveler arriving at Montreal-Trudeau International Airport.

A spokesman for the agency said the pumpkins seemed to be a little too heavy, so they were sent through an X-ray scanner. The Mounties were called in once the bags were discovered.

The 2-kilogram haul represents almost 5 percent of all cocaine seized at the airport this year, the border agency said in a statement.

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It's hard to say how much the cocaine is worth, because its price can be very different depending on its purity and how it's processed — crack costs less than powder cocaine, for example.

But in its pure, uncut form, cocaine was running $137 to $170 a gram from 2007 to 2010, the last years for which final figures are available from the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crimes and the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy (.pdf).

At those prices, 2 kilograms would be worth anywhere from $274,000 to $340,000.


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