Philadelphia border agents seize MDMA hidden in soup cans, Tramadol hidden inside cakes

Philadelphia U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents recently had a surprise when they found liquid MDMA in soup cans and Tramadol pills concealed inside cakes. 

On Wednesday, March 2, Customs and Border Protection (CPB) officers in Philadelphia discovered a shipment of 12 litre-sized cans labelled as “Dutch Canned Vegetable Chicken Soup.” 

The cans, which were shipped from the Netherlands and sent to an address in Miami, appeared to be leaking a purple liquid, according to a CPB report. 

After analyzing the leaking substance, officers identified the cans’ contents as MDMA hydrochloride. MDMA (3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphatemine) is a synthetic commonly known as ecstasy.

MDMA is a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act, according to the US DEA.

The seized liquid MDMA weighed 11 kilograms, or 24 pounds, 4 ounces.

Then, on Thursday, March 3, officers in Philadelphia were inspecting a shipment that was manifested as “garments”. While the box did contain garments, an x-ray examination also revealed the presence of what appeared to be packaged pharmaceuticals.

CBP officers then opened the box and pulled out two packaged food containers labelled as sweets from India. Rather than candies, officers discovered two sticky cakes that concealed aluminum foil pouches that contained 1,000 combined blister packs of Tramadol 100 mg pills.

The US DEA lists Tramadol hydrochloride as a synthetic morphine-like opioid and a Schedule IV drug under the Controlled Substances Act. Tramadol is prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain and can be abused by those addicted to narcotics.

CBP says they have seized or disrupted an average of 4,732 pounds of illegal drugs every day across the United States during fiscal year 2021.


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