Have you ever smuggled anything?
Asked by Josh Board
December 30, 2009
From La Jolla (Management)
I was traveling from France to America, and I had Cuban cigars and meat in my suitcase. I brought meats that you can’t find here, like curried duck liver and pâtés and foie gras. I’ve smuggled alcohol into the country. They let you bring one or two bottles per person. I’ve brought six and seven. You just have to pack them really tight, rolling them up and making a dense suitcase.
From Downtown (Mortgage Broker)
I’ve brought Cuban cigars from Mexico. I just take the labels off them, and they can’t prove what kind they are. In 2003, I was stationed in the Middle East. I brought back Bahrain. It’s a kind of Iranian saffron. It’s an expensive spice. I bought a few hundred dollars’ worth. I put half of it in the freezer so it wouldn’t go bad. And I’m still using it today. Apparently Iran is the biggest producer of it, and it’s very expensive. I got it for way below market value. I guess it’s labor intensive producing it. An article recently said it’s one of the most healthy spices. When I was declaring what I was bringing back, I said it was Spanish saffron on the form. They never searched my luggage, and the customs officer didn’t press the issue. I didn’t say I had anything to declare at the airport.
From Downtown (Dog Groomer)
Yeah, I smuggled my dog from Mexico. Well, I didn’t. Right at the trolley stop downtown, a guy in a wheelchair got off. This was about three years ago. He was just a puppy. He was apparently roaming the streets of Tijuana. Technically, the dogs need to get certification and things before they come here. I took him to the vet the next day.
From Los Angeles (Post-production)
This isn’t the most exciting thing, but my friend and I snuck beer into a movie theater. He wore his drinking pants, which were loose jeans that he could store four beers into. It was for Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, which we saw at the Mann Theatre in Westwood. That’s the theater that had the first-run showings of Godfather and Exorcist. And in the movie Zodiac, they have a scene that takes place there. It’s near UCLA, and it seats three or four hundred people. This was back in 1999 one afternoon, and the place was almost empty.
From Rancho Bernardo (Military)
I smuggled a katana sword from Japan. It cost me $340, and I bought it on the way to the Gulf. I had it there for six months and hid it under my mattress. When we came back into port in San Diego, they said if we had any expensive gifts for our family, we better make sure they were secure. It was a wink-wink type of thing to warn us. I put it in my seabag and packed things all around it so it wouldn’t be detected. But in Dubai, I got caught trying to bring this rare butterfly in from Iran. It cost me $600, and walking onto the carrier, I couldn’t hide it anywhere.
From Santee (Construction)
I tried bringing back Cuban cigars from Mexico. I said that they weren’t really Cuban, but the guy pointed out the labels. What happened was, I had been to Mexico so many times and was never checked. That same day, I had two switchblades I tried to bring across. They had the metal detector going. I had them in my pants pocket and just played dumb. I said they were my friend’s and he forgot about them. They wrote up a report, but nothing happened to me.