Fourteen condoms filled with liquid cocaine were intercepted en route to the Vatican from an unnamed South American country, the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag reported.
According to the New York Daily News, the intended recipient remains unknown
. The drugs were worth more than 40,000 euros, roughly $55,000.
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"I can confirm the incident as reported," said a German finance ministry spokesman that oversees the customs office. "But we cannot say anything more about the case." He said it was now in the hands of local prosecutors.
The cocaine-filled condoms were found inside a shipment of cushions addressed to the Vatican's post office and seized at the Leipzig/Halle airport in January. Because it had no addressee, it could have been picked up by any one of the Vatican's 840 residents, said Rev. Federico Lombardi.
With that in mind, Vatican police set up a sting operation, placing the package at the post office for two months. The package was never retrieved, and authorities in both Germany and the Vatican now believe the would-be criminal was tipped off somehow.
The Vatican office of Interpol and prosecutors in Leipzig will continue to work together on the case moving forward.
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