New York police confirm cocaine shipment seizure at UN Headquarters

Sunday, January 29, 2012

File photo of United Nations Headquarters, taken in 2006.
Image: World Island Info.

Spokespersons for New York City Police Department [NYPD] and Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations [UN], Thursday released statements confirming a police seizure of a shipment of two bags, containing sixteen kilograms of cocaine, at the mail intake centre for the United Nations Headquarters on January 16.

The shipment consisted of fourteen hollowed-out books with the cocaine inside, according to ABC News Australia. Although the shipment, which had been sent from Mexico City, Mexico via Cincinnati, Ohio, had no addresses or names on it, it was stamped with an apparently low quality copy of the United Nations logo.

Speaking on behalf of Ki-moon, Martin Nesirky stated: "The United Nations nor anyone located in the United Nations was the intended recipient of this delivery and the bags were not UN bags, diplomatic or other". Gregory B. Starr, Under-Secretary-General for Safety and Security at the United Nations, also believed that there was "nothing to indicate that this had anything to do with anybody at the United Nations"; they "did not come from a United Nations facility", according to Starr.

Paul Browne, NYPD deputy commissioner, said that the bags were "obviously fakes". According to RT, the shipment was supposedly sent to the UN Headquarters unintentionally. "Somebody in Mexico is probably in trouble now having let a significant amount of cocaine out of their possession," Browne stated. Browne believed the shipment was "possibly ... never meant to have left Mexico at all".

Starr explained that they appeared to have been disguised as diplomatic bags, which have immunity from customs examination. Starr illustrated the differences between the shipment bag sent to the UN and a genuine UN diplomatic bag to journalists, concluding: "This did not come from a United Nations facility". According to The Guardian, a genuine UN diplomatic bag would be of a different material and a greater size than those sent to the UN.