• Germany's news in English
 

Chocolate - the cash smugglers' choice

Published: 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
RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
German beer day: take the tour
Features
Off to Norway at 18 km/hour
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
10 things you didn’t know about Zagreb (and why you should go)
Gallery
The smileys Germans love to text
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
National
Expats face Monday deadline to register to vote for UK election
Politics
A Greek learning politics in Germany
Features
The battle of the "Gates of Berlin"
National
Germany's favourite baby names of 2014
National
Germany's 'very poor' lobbying record
National
VIDEO: Mario Draghi suffers anti-ECB confetti attack
Politics
Merkel's 15 years at the top of German politics
Features
Spice up asparagus season with The Local's serving suggestions
Travel
Lowest of the low: how woman exploited Germanwings crash
Sport
Football and the €30,000 firework
Technology
Why scientists oppose killer robots
National
Germanwings co-pilot 'searched suicide info'
Technology
Electrifying 'Ostalgia'
National
Which city is Germany's worst for drivers?
National
'Cannibal cop' gets 8 years
Can the 'nightmare' of a pilot downing a plane be prevented?
National
LIVE: Co-pilot suspected of crashing plane
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
National
Last-minute drama of Germany's Eurovision 2015 entry
National
German photographer takes world's top prize
Features
Meet the woman getting Germans to drink more – and better – beer
Gallery
Get inspired for International Women's Day with German heroes
Green party proposes first-ever cannabis legalization plan
Gallery
In pictures: Germany's seven most livable cities
National
Singapore canes Germans for train graffiti
Politics
Surprise! Germans love feeling like they run the EU
Politics
Anger over plan to show women what men earn
Travel
Munich tram fans bicker over new bell
Features
Kafka: puzzling translators 100 years on
Business & Money
France or Germany: Which country really is the best country to work in?
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

7,191
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd