Police seize World Cup trophy made entirely of cocaine

Liz Goodwin
The Upshot

Drug lords are clearly soccer fans, too.

World Cup fever has apparently gripped the world's underground economy, to judge by the 24-pound all-cocaine replica of the World Cup that Colombian authorities seized from a mail warehouse at Bogota's international airport.  The trophy makers mixed the cocaine with acetone or gasoline to make it moldable, the airport's anti-drug chief Jose Piedrahita told The London Telegraph.

Authorities found the 14-inch statue packaged with a couple of Spanish soccer jerseys in a shipment headed for Spain, the entry point for much of Europe's drug supply.

Perhaps the molded stimulant was meant as a symbolic kind of performance enhancer for the Spanish national soccer team. If so, it seems to have worked, since Spain beat out Paraguay over the weekend to advance to the semi-finals.

It is, regardless, a striking addition to recent innovations in drug-smuggling--such as a handsome 44-lb. collection of cocaine crockery and a cast for a broken leg made from cocaine rather than plaster.

But global smugglers aren't merely confining themselves to fashioning medical props and household gear from the potent white powder. This weekend, U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency officers in the Ecuadoran jungle confiscated a diesel-electric powered  submarine designed for cocaine transport. The 100-foot-long, air conditioned vessel would have allowed drug traffickers to float tons of cocaine across the ocean undetected. No word as to whether the vessel's crew could follow World Cup broadcasts on it, however.