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Cocaine-filled condoms found in package sent to Vatican

Valerie Everett via Flikr

German customs officials intercepted a shipment of cocaine destined for the Vatican in January, the weekly 'Bild am Sonntag' reported on Sunday.

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Officers at Leipzig airport found 340 grams (12 ounces) of the drug packed into 14 condoms inside a shipment of cushions coming from South America, the paper reported, citing a German customs report.

The narcotic was in liquid form and had been poured into the condoms and placed in the package addressed to the main postal centre at the Vatican, meaning any of the Catholic mini-state's 800 residents could have picked the parcel up.

"I can confirm the incident as reported," a finance ministry spokesman told "Bild am Sonntag".

"But we cannot say anything more about the case," he added, because it was now in the hands of local prosecutors.

Authorities handed the parcel to a police officer at the Vatican with the aim of laying a trap for a culprit who might try to claim it. But the box had remained there since January.

German investigators believe the intended recipient, who remains unknown, was probably tipped off that the package had been intercepted.

The Vatican office of Interpol is now working on the investigation with the Leizpig prosecutor's office.

(FRANCE 24 with AP)

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