• Germany edition
 
Chocolate - the cash smugglers' choice
Photo: DPA

Chocolate - the cash smugglers' choice

Published: 17 Mar 2012 11:18 GMT+01:00
Updated: 17 Mar 2012 11:18 GMT+01:00

Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble announced the annual figures on Friday, describing customs as one of the government's most important source of income.

But people will always try to avoid paying duties when bringing money into the country, and German customs officers seized €14 million in cash last year, said Schäuble.

Chocolate hiding places seem to have come into vogue, with some of the more creative and sweet-toothed hiding places displayed on Friday.

One chocolate egg would have given any child looking for a plastic toy more than the advertised surprise - officers found €8,000 in cash inside.

Officers also found chocolate rabbits filled with money, while another would-be tax evader simply stuck his wedge of fifties into a tin of chocolate drink powder.

It was probably less surprising that the smuggler who filled a couple of wine bottles with bank notes was caught – the money was clearly visible through the glass.

Drug smugglers lost around €150 million worth of their wares in 2011, as customs officers confiscated 29 tonnes of drugs, two tonnes more than in the previous year.

The most valuable haul was a total of 1.6 tonnes of cocaine worth around €100 million, said Schäuble. This was followed by 1.3 tonnes of marijuana, 1.2 tonnes of hashish and 357 kilos of heroine.

Around 160 million smuggled cigarettes were seized, an increase of three million on 2010, he said.

The Local/DPA/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

15:42 March 17, 2012 by catjones
and it only cost €28 million to snoop through every package, open every envelope and read every letter. Sorta like being in prison.
10:30 March 21, 2012 by raandy
Out of maybe 15 trips to the dreaded Zoll, I have departed that place only once where I did not feel violated. Inconsistant methods and charges inflicted by people that look act like they belong in an institution for etiquette.
Today's headlines
Merkel targets 'shadow banks' in Lindau speech
Chancellor Angela Merkel opens the 2014 Lindau meetings. Photo: DPA

Merkel targets 'shadow banks' in Lindau speech

Chancellor Angela Merkel has opened an economics conference in Lindau, Bavaria, with a call for more regulation of so-called shadow banks. READ  

Dying town centres seek the miracle cure
A senior couple walk down Delmenhorst's main pedestrian promenade, amid a string of empty shops. Photo: Tomas Urbina

Dying town centres seek the miracle cure

Home to two-thirds of Germany's population, many of its small cities and towns are struggling to revive their declining centres. The Local's Tomas Urbina reports from Delmenhorst in Lower Saxony, as it tries to dig its way out of the economic doldrums. READ  

Quick-thinking trucker stops wrong-way driver
Signs warning drivers against entering a motorway off-road. Photo: DPA

Quick-thinking trucker stops wrong-way driver

Erich Mairleitner thought Tuesday would be another ordinary day hauling a load along the A3 motorway, but found himself the hero of the hour after stepping in to stop an accident. READ  

Germany ready to send arms to Iraqi Kurds
Usula van der Leyen and Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Photo: DPA

Germany ready to send arms to Iraqi Kurds

Germany is ready to send weapons to support Iraqi Kurds in their battle against the "barbaric" jihadist militants of the Islamic State, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Wednesday. READ  

The Local List
10 things to do before summer is really over
Photo: DPA

10 things to do before summer is really over

The German weather service (DWD) is blaming "Wild Wilma" for blanketing the country in cooler temperatures, but we know it's going to get a lot colder before the end of summer. This week's Local List challenges you to take advantage before autumn really sets in. READ  

Energy policy falls foul of federal auditors
Lightning illuminates the sky above a wind turbine. Photo: DPA

Energy policy falls foul of federal auditors

The Federal Court of Auditors (BRH) has sharply criticized Chancellor Angela Merkel's energy policy, saying that the previous coalition government failed to produce adequate financial plans. READ  

China orders German's execution for murders
A paramilitary guard stands inside Beijing's No.1 Detention Centre. Photo: DPA

China orders German's execution for murders

Update: A German man has been condemned to death in China for murdering his ex-girlfriend and her partner in a frenzied attack, it was reported on Wednesday. READ  

German aid planes to Iraq delayed
All filled up and nowhere to go. Photo: DPA

German aid planes to Iraq delayed

A German military flight to the conflict-addled region in northern Iraq has been delayed because Turkey denied landing permission for the layover at Incirlik airbase, according to a spokesman for the air force. READ  

Bomb shuts down A3 motorway
Photo: DPA

Bomb shuts down A3 motorway

A controlled detonation of a 500-kg bomb from the Second World War has left a 20-metre-wide crater in the middle of one of Germany's busiest traffic corridors on Tuesday night. READ  

Saxony schools get top marks
Photo: DPA

Saxony schools get top marks

A country-wide analysis has shown that Saxony has the best schools and Berlin has a lot of homework to do. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Culture
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? 10 reasons why you should.
Photo: DPA
National
Berlin's senate puts the brakes on Über
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The mysteries of Berlin's abandoned theme park
Photo: DPA
Culture
How I deal with my German Hausmeister
Photo: Ingrid Eulenfan/flickr
Gallery
Nine German treats you'll want to eat right now (and one you won't)
Photo: DPA
Society
Who's getting German citizenship?
Photo: DPA
Culture
How World War I changed Germany forever
Photo: APA/DPA
Gallery
The 12 best words in Austrian German
Photo: DPA
Society
'Look at those German shanty towns!'
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Education
Raising the bar for law & business in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual school turning education on its head
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,322
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd