• 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)

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
UN climate talks shuffle to a close in Bonn
Photo: DPA

UN climate talks shuffle to a close in Bonn

Concern was high at a perceived lack of urgency as UN climate negotiations shuffled towards a close in Bonn on Saturday with just 14 months left to finalise a new, global pact. READ  

Berlin slams Italy Nazi claims court ruling
Italy's National Partisans' Association welcomed the court decision. Photo: DPA

Berlin slams Italy Nazi claims court ruling

Italy's constitutional court has ruled that victims of Nazi-era war crimes can sue Germany in Italian courts, rejecting a UN ruling and provoking a strong reaction from Berlin on Friday. READ  

Expats reveal another side of Berlin Wall
Photo: Paul Sullivan

Expats reveal another side of Berlin Wall

Two expats who walked the Mauerweg - the 160-kilometre trail that runs the length of the former Berlin Wall - have written a book about forgotten aspects of its past and present. READ  

Karstadt closes six stores to stay afloat
Photo: DPA

Karstadt closes six stores to stay afloat

Germany's biggest department store chain Karstadt will close at least six stores, putting around 2,000 jobs at risk, in a drastic bid by its new boss to return it to profit. READ  

Quiz
How well do you know Germany?
Photos: DPA/Shutterstock

How well do you know Germany?

Do you know your Saxony facts from your Saxony-Anhalt ones? Test your knowledge of Germany's federal states in The Local's quiz. READ  

Climate chief hails Bonn greenhouse gas deal
Pollution from a coal-fired power station in Frimmersdorf, North Rhine-Westphalia. Photo: DPA

Climate chief hails Bonn greenhouse gas deal

The UN's climate chief hailed a European agreement in Bonn on greenhouse gases on Friday as providing "valuable momentum" for a world pact to be inked in Paris next year. READ  

Germany gets €780m EU rebate for poor growth
Photo: DPA

Germany gets €780m EU rebate for poor growth

Germany will get an early Christmas present of around €779 million from the EU, thanks to weaker than expected GDP growth. READ  

Stay inside after blast, Ludwigshafen told
Photo: DPA

Stay inside after blast, Ludwigshafen told

It will take several days to find out what caused a massive explosion on Thursday which rocked a town on the Rhine, killing a builder and injuring 26 others. READ  

German helicopter fleet 'not fit for Nato'
An NH90 helicopter. Photo: DPA

German helicopter fleet 'not fit for Nato'

Germany's fleet of NH90 helicopters is undergoing engineering checks after one of them suffered a serious engine failure, in the latest blow to the country's military capabilities. READ  

Ex-boss of Berlin Airport farce gets €1.2m
Rainer Schwarz at a court hearing in September into the case. Photo: DPA

Ex-boss of Berlin Airport farce gets €1.2m

The man who was blamed for Berlin's miserable attempt to build a new airport must be paid more than €1 million - after being fired. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Politics
Satirist lives the dream on EU gravy train
Photo: DPA
Gallery
PHOTOS: Huge explosion rocks Ludwigshafen
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
Which high school cliche is your German city?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Storm hits southern Germany
Sponsored Article
An international school unlike any other : School on the Rhine
Photo: Fitzpatrick family
Society
'We still don't know what happened to Matthew'
Photo: Mariana Schroeder
Munich
Special Report: Hope and chaos at Munich's refugee shelters
Photo: DPA
Culture
Can you top our history quiz leaderboard?
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
11 things Germans are afraid of...
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
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

3,524
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd