Sneaky Drug Smugglers Hid Cocaine Inside Individual Coffee Beans

Italian police discovered the package which had over 500 beans filled with contraband.

Cocaine Smuggling Coffee Beans
Photo: Getty Images

Beverly Hills Cop came out in 1984 when I was five years old. I was very young when my dad finally let me watch it, and I learned a valuable lesson I’ve never forgotten: You can hide the scent of cocaine by packing it in coffee grounds. (Thanks, Dad and Axel Foley!) Turns out, over 35 years later, that tidbit of information still holds true. And not only that, some industrious drug trafficker has taken mixing coke and coffee to new culinary heights: Officials in Italy uncovered a shipment of cocaine that was hidden literally inside of individual coffee beans.

Italy’s Guardia di Finanza announced last week that they had confiscated 130 grams of cocaine which had been concealed in a two-kilogram shipment of coffee beans from Colombia, according to CNN. But what made this illicit shipment so unique was that more than 500 of the individual beans had been hollowed out, stuffed full of powdered cocaine, and then resealed with brown tape.

Making the story even more bizarre, customs officers at Malpensa Airport in Milan, where the package arrived, apparently chose to inspect it after realizing the recipient shared a name with a fictional character from the movie John Wick: Chapter 2… Santino D'Antonio, a Mafia boss. That’s a lot of intensive bean-stuffing work to do, only to then phone it in on the fake name, but hey, at least it’s better than going by Axel Foley.

Meanwhile, though Santino D'Antonio may be a fictional character, the intended recipient was very real: Police said they were able to arrest a 50-year-old man when he attempted to pick up the package at its final destination in Florence. Watch a video of the bogus beans shot by Italy's Guardia di Finanza below:

And speaking of names, the Italian police also had a bit of naming fun: According to Euronews, the operation was called “Caffe Scorretto”—or “Improper Coffee” in English. The name is wordplay on the Italian drink “caffe corretto”—an espresso with a splash of Sambuca which translates to “corrected coffee.” Clearly, these beans were spiked with more than a bit of booze.

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