Police in Israel detained three UN employees at the border with Jordan yesterday on suspicion of attempting to smuggle liquid cocaine into the country disguised as perfume.
“UN workers arrived at the Jordan-Israel border crossing, and a routine inspection by authorities at the border crossing raised suspicions regarding passengers’ perfume-making kits,” a police statement said.
“The kits were subjected to careful examination, which also included a test with trained dogs. Reasonable suspicion arose from the examination that it was liquid cocaine,” the statement added.
According to the Jerusalem Post, the trio work in Syria near the border and were apprehended by the Northern District Police’s Yagal Unit.
The report said that routine checks by the Tax Authority and Airport Authority personnel at the border crossing raised suspicions after coming across perfume kits in their luggage which included bottles containing liquid.
3 חיילי או"ם מפיג'י נעצרו במעבר הגבול נהר הירדן בחשד להברחת קוקאין נוזלי במסווה של בושם.
השלושה שמשרתים בגבול ישראל סוריה, נעצרו בידי המשטרה. pic.twitter.com/xbezzE587V
— Rubi Hammerschlag | רובי המרשלג (@rubih67) June 25, 2023
A sniffer dog’s reaction to the items substantiated the police’s suspicions that the substance was liquid cocaine, leading to the UN employees being taken into custody for further questioning by the Northern District Police.
It has been reported elsewhere that the individuals arrested were from Fiji. According to local media, the Republic of Fiji Military Forces Commander, Ro Jone Kalouniwai, confirmed that three Fijian soldiers were detained in connection to the allegations. The three are serving with the Fiji Battalion under the UN Disengagement Observer Force mission in the Golan Heights, Syria.
Liquid cocaine is created by dissolving cocaine in water or specific liquids and subsequently transforming it into a powdered state. Detecting it can be challenging as the liquid frequently conceals the distinctive smell of cocaine. To smuggle it and reduce suspicion, it is often concealed within containers meant for shampoo, perfume, syrup, or liquor bottles.