A view of the Vatican Apostolic Library, Vatican City.
ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge
BERLIN — The drug haul was unremarkable, but the destination raised eyebrows.
In January, German customs officials seized a shipment of cocaine destined for the Vatican, the weekly Bild am Sonntag reported Sunday.
Officers at Leipzig airport found 12 ounces of the drug packed into 14 condoms in a shipment of cushions coming from South America, the paper reported. It cited a German customs report.
It said the package was simply addressed to the Vatican postal office, meaning any of the Catholic mini-state’s 800 residents could have picked it up.
The paper reported that a subsequent sting operation arranged with Vatican police failed to capture a recipient.
No one claimed the package, indicating that he or she may have been tipped off. The drugs would have a street value of several tens of thousands of dollars.
A spokesman for the German Finance Ministry, which oversees the customs office, confirmed the report.
Prosecutors in Leipzig planned to issue a statement today providing further details.
The Rev. Federico Lombardi, a Vatican spokesmen, confirmed that Vatican police had cooperated with German police in an attempt to identify the traffickers. He said the investigation remained open.
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