18-karat gold crown found in baggage at Düsseldorf airport

Drugs, luxury watches, protected animals - customs agents are used to preventing illegal items from crossing borders. But this one might just be the "king" of all attempted smuggles.

18-karat gold crown found in baggage at Düsseldorf airport
Photo: Düsseldorf Customs.

German customs agents reported on Tuesday that they had found the “king of smugglers”.

A man from Iran had tried to pass through the “nothing to declare” exit before he was stopped for a baggage check at Düsseldorf airpot.

As customs agents searched through the travel bag of the 43-year-old man, they made one of their most unusual discoveries. Along with 600 cigarettes, the man had stowed a 126-gram crown made of 18-karat gold.

The man told customs agents that the crown originally came from Afghanistan and was sent to Iran. He was supposed to transport it to Belgium as a wedding gift for a man.

Officials estimate that the crown is worth around €3,500.

Air travellers coming from non-EU countries to Germany are not allowed to carry more than 200 cigarettes with them into the country. They also must pay import duties on items worth more than €430.

The customs agents initiated a criminal procedure against the man for attempted fiscal evasion. But because he paid the necessary duty of about €850 at the airport, as well as a bail payment towards his potential punishment, he was permitted to take his items with him.

Some of Düsseldorf airport's more strange finds include a stuffed, dead Nile crocodile for a travelers' mum; a stuffed falcon wearing a Nazi SS cap; and the skeletons of penguins and snakes.

SEE ALSO: Ten of the oddest things found at German border control