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20 Children Ditched by Smugglers Perish in Sahara

They were part of a group of 34 migrants

(Newser) - A group of nearly three dozen migrants, most of them kids, paid smugglers to whisk them out of Niger and Nigeria and to a new life to the north—but instead paid the ultimate price. The five men, nine women, and 20 minors were found dead Sunday in the Sahara,... More »

94 iPhones Strapped to Smuggler

Chinese customs officers noticed his funny walk

(Newser) - Walking through customs with the gait of Iron Man may not exactly work out—who knew? Customs officers at Futian Port in China stopped a guy who had an odd walk and allegedly found 94 hidden iPhones strapped to his body, Gizmodo reports. According to a Chinese social media site... More »

Suspect's Giveaway: He Was 'Walking Awkwardly'

Police say they found heroin in man's underwear at JFK Airport

(Newser) - Pro tip: If you're going to smuggle heroin in your underwear, try to walk like a normal person while doing so. Bernard Charles apparently couldn't manage that, so when Customs and Border Protection officers spotted him "walking awkwardly" at New York's JFK Airport on April 1,... More »

Fleeing Violence, Illegal Youths Flock to US

But green cards aren't that easy to come by

(Newser) - Unaccompanied minors are surging into the US from Mexico, many seeking a haven from gang violence or hoping the government will take pity on them, the Miami Herald reports. But they endure terrible hardships on the way—like hunger, illness, robbery, and sexual assault, reports the LA Times —and... More »

Found in Plane Toilet: 32 Gold Nuggets

Indian authorities bust up smuggling ring

(Newser) - Note to self: Always brave the airplane bathroom. Just in case. Because Indian intelligence busted an international gold smuggling outfit at Chennai airport on Sunday, and in the process discovered 32 gold nuggets, weighing roughly a kilogram each. The kicker? They were hidden in a plane toilet, the Times of ... More »

Guards Catch 'Smuggler Kitty' Sneaking Into Prison

Cat has cell phone and charger strapped to its body

(Newser) - At least one prisoner in Brazil may still be waiting for his cell phone. Authorities at a prison in Arapiraca city apprehended a white cat slipping through the gate with all kinds of goodies strapped to it, including a cell phone and charger, earphones, drill bits, and files, the BBC... More »

Smuggler Swallowed 220 Diamonds: Police

Man caught trying to leave South Africa

(Newser) - A diamond smuggler is accused of the impressive, painful-sounding feat of swallowing 220 of the gems in an attempt to get them out of South Africa. The Lebanese man was arrested at the Johannesburg airport as he was waiting to fly to Dubai, the BBC reports. Scans of his body... More »

Attempt to Scale Border Fence Goes Poorly

Border patrol assumes it was a smuggling operation gone wrong

(Newser) - Suspected smugglers who tried to use ramps to drive an SUV over a 14-foot-tall border fence had to abandon their plan when the Jeep became stuck on top of the barrier. Agents patrolling the US-Mexico border near the Imperial Sand Dunes in California's southeast corner spotted the Jeep Cherokee... More »

Smugglers Busted With Primates in Their Skivvies

Lorises headed to Dubai from Bangkok

(Newser) - Is that a slender loris in your pants, or are you just happy to see me? In this case, it was the former: Three United Arab Emirates men headed to Dubai from Bangkok were caught with small primates in their underwear. Two were carrying mammals called slender lorises, Sri Lanka... More »

Cops: Airport Smuggler Hid Cocaine in ... Clam Shells

Customs officials call case one of the oddest they've seen

(Newser) - Finding a pearl inside a clam is rare, but finding a bag of cocaine is rarer. Just ask Dulles International Airport customs officials who arrested a Central American man trying to enter the US with 15 bags of cocaine stashed in shells that had been opened, stuffed, and glued back... More »

Rev.: Give GPS to Human Smugglers

Human rights activist aims to make border crossing safer

(Newser) - Rev. Robin Hoover, a human rights activist, wants to give GPS devices to human smugglers along the dangerous Mexico-Arizona border, reports the Christian Science Monitor . “It’s like giving a life preserver to somebody that’s using a boat,” and would allow the "coyotes" to alert search... More »

Leopards, Monkeys, Bear Found in Airport Bags

Anti-trafficking officials tracked Dubai-bound carrier to Thai hub

(Newser) - Thai officials today nabbed a Dubai-bound man who was hauling “a virtual zoo” of endangered creatures around the Bangkok airport. When they opened his bags, they found a yawning bunch of sedated newborns: two leopards, two panthers, two macaque monkeys, and an Asiatic black bear, the AP reports. Anti-trafficking... More »

Cops Rescue 11 Smuggled Kids From Phoenix Home

They had been brought to the US from El Salvador, elsewhere

(Newser) - Police found 11 children allegedly being held by human traffickers at a house in Phoenix today, KNXV-TV reports. Authorities arrested three suspects in connection with what's being called a drop house, where children as young as 2 years old and from as far afield as Mexico, Colombia, and El Salvador... More »

Egypt Builds Steel Barrier to Stop Gaza Smugglers

Wall along border will extend 100 feet down to block tunnels

(Newser) - Egypt has begun work on a gigantic steel wall that will run along and under its border with the Gaza Strip in an effort to curb smuggling. The 6-mile wall will extend up to 100 feet underground, in an effort to close off the tunnels smugglers often use to avoid... More »

Gal Pal Busted for Smuggling Heroin to Cam Douglas

(Newser) - The girlfriend of Michael Douglas' elder son has been busted after trying to smuggle 19 glassine envelopes of heroin to her boyfriend, police told the New York Post. The drugs were hidden in a black bag carrying an electric toothbrush and delivered to Cameron Douglas, 30, at mother Diandra Douglas'... More »

Ravaged by War, Bitter Afghans Sneak Into Europe

Conditions aren't much better, but youth want escape from war, death

(Newser) - Fed up with years of war and shaky government, young Afghans are forking over their life savings to be smuggled into Europe, the New York Times reports. An American-led invasion once inspired optimism, but 18,000 residents sought asylum in Europe last year, nearly double the total in 2007. “... More »

10 Dead After Smuggler's Boat Capsizes Off Fla.

Coast Guard slams 'callous' smugglers after migrants drown

(Newser) - At least 10 people died when an overloaded boat authorities believe was being used to smuggle Haitian migrants into the US capsized off the coast of Florida yesterday, CNN reports. The Coast Guard—which launched a massive search-and-rescue operation after a pleasure boat spotted survivors in the water—saved 16... More »

Baby Gorilla Stashed in Smuggler's Bag

Had been inside for 6 hours; 'is responding to treatment'

(Newser) - A live baby gorilla was found at the bottom of a smuggler’s plastic bag in the Democratic Republic of Congo after a 3-month undercover smuggling probe, MSNBC reports. The female eastern lowland gorilla, which has a street value of up to $20,000, had been in the bag for... More »

Suds-Smugglers Thwart Eco-Friendly Law

Residents say only outlaw high-phosphate detergents get their dishes clean enough

(Newser) - Spokane, Washington's pioneering ban on high-phosphorus dishwasher detergents has led some residents to pioneer detergent-smuggling, reports the AP.  People complaining that the eco-friendly detergents don't get their dishes as clean as the old kind regularly cross over into Idaho to stock up. Retailers near the border say their detergent... More »

Border Patrol Destroys Foliage With Chemicals

Killing plants will cut hiding places for immigrants, smugglers

(Newser) - In an effort to keep smugglers and illegal immigrants from hiding in heavy vegetation as they attempt to cross the Mexican border, the US Border Patrol is looking to Agent Orange for inspiration. One plan for cutting down on possible hiding places on riverbanks is to use an herbicide that... More »

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