rocket launcher
rocket launcher

Strange things found at customs

People attempting to smuggle forbidden or illegal items into another country isn't a new game.

Be it concealed in a suitcase, on their person or via more creative methods, there seems to be no limit as to what some people will try and get past Customs or Border Control officials.

From the dangerous and idiotic to the downright unbelievable, the teams at airport and border Customs really have seen - and confiscated - it all. But what items rank as the strangest found by Customs? Webjet has put together a list of the weirdest, most unusual and outright shocking things that have been confiscated by Customs.

1. Live eels

Miami International Airport, US

No matter where you're flying into or out of, transporting live animals without declaring them is a big no-no. This passenger ignored that rule and tried to hide 22 vertebrates in a plastic bag inside their checked luggage. The same passenger was allegedly also caught attempting to smuggle in more than 150 tropical fish.

2. A jar of human eyeballs

London Stansted Airport, UK

Back in 2007, Customs happened upon a passenger transporting a jar filled with eyeballs. Ten human eyeballs were discovered in total, all were confiscated.

a tiger cub
a tiger cub

3. A tiger cub


In 2010, Customs officials uncovered what they first thought was a toy tiger. But Border Control agents quickly realised it was actually a sedated tiger cub. The cub was being smuggled in from Thailand, with the intention of becoming a domestic pet. Luckily, the cub was saved and relocated to a wildlife conservation centre in Bangkok.

4. A cow's brain

Cairo International Airport, Egypt

As a delicacy in Egypt, cow brains may be sold for a high price to eager buyers. In 2012, three men were caught attempting to smuggle almost 200kg of cows' brains into Cairo, with the hope of selling the brains at almost six times the price they paid in neighbouring Sudan.

cocaine in Mr Potato Head
cocaine in Mr Potato Head

5. An ecstasy-filled Mr Potato Head

Sydney, Australia

The innocence of beloved Mr Potato Head was lost in 2007 when the children's toy was found containing more than 200g of ecstasy tablets concealed inside.

6. A smoke bomb

Las Vegas McCarran International Airport, US

A fully functioning smoke bomb was discovered inside a passenger's checked-in luggage and was promptly confiscated.

Cooked pig's head
FROM TOP: Tiger cub, cocaine in Mr Potato Head, rocket launcher, cooked pig's head.

7. A cooked pig's head

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, US

This jig may be one of the most conspicuous finds by the Customs teams in Atlanta. This whole pig's head was found by a sniffer dog, thanks in part to its pungent odour. Like many other countries, the US has strict laws about meat products entering the country. The head was confiscated and destroyed.

8. A rocket launcher

Arnold Palmer Regional Airport, US

A rocket launcher was discovered at this small airport in Pennsylvania. It was found hidden inside a checked bag. The AT4 anti-tank launcher was not live, however the weapon was still confiscated.

9. A fake human corpse

Atlanta International Airport, US

Imagine arriving at airport security and seeing the gentleman in front of you sending what appears to be a full, rotting corpse through the scanner. The corpse in question turned out to be a replica used in the film Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. After clearing the usual security procedures, the replica corpse was free to continue its journey.

10. A foosball table concealing marijuana

Lewiston-Queenston Bridge, US-Canada border

In 2015, a Canadian woman attempted to smuggle about 24kg of marijuana into the US by hiding the narcotics inside a foosball table. Its street value was estimated at $US60,000 and the woman was arrested at the border.

11. Human intestines

Graz Airport, Austria

Austrian Customs officials must have feared the worst after discovering human intestines. The intestines apparently belonged to the passenger's husband and no arrests were made.

12. Live pigeons

Melbourne, Australia

In 2009, a man travelling from Dubai to Melbourne was caught with pigeons wrapped in newspaper strapped to his legs. The reason as to why the man attempted to smuggle the birds into the country is unknown.

13. A hand grenade

Los Angeles International Airport, US

Not to state the obvious but don't try to bring a hand grenade through Customs. It will be confiscated and you will most likely face extensive interrogations. Fortunately for this would-be smuggler, the device was a deactivated grenade from World War II.

14. Breast implants filled with cocaine

Frankfurt, Germany

Officials in Germany became suspicious of a Colombian woman who arrived presenting with pain and a recent surgical scar beneath her breasts. It was later discovered that the woman was attempting to smuggle in more than a kilogram of cocaine, all concealed inside her breast implants.

15. A sarcophagus from Egypt

Miami, US

Customs officials in Miami must have had the shock of a lifetime when they discovered a legitimate Egyptian sarcophagus hidden inside a shipping container from Spain. The "owner” of the stone coffin could not provide documentation proving his official and legal ownership and so the sarcophagus was denied entry into the US. Upon its return to Egypt, tests determined that the sarcophagus was a relic stolen 125 years ago.

16. A human skeleton

Munich International Airport, Germany

On a stopover from Sao Paulo to Naples, Customs staff at Munich discovered the remains of a human skeleton inside the luggage belonging to two Italian women. Any fears of wrongdoing were soon quashed when one of the women produced a valid death certificate for the skeleton. The two women were returning a family member's remains to their home in Italy.

Republished with permission from Webjet. Find the original article at