Mexican inspectors have intercepted 11,520 tequila bottles due for export that actually contained nearly 10 tonnes of concentrated liquid meth.
The discovery was made at the Pacific coast seaport of Manzanillo, the navy said on Monday. The bottles contained about 8,640kg (19,000 pounds) of methamphetamine.
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Photos of the seizure show a sniffer dog alerting inspectors to cardboard boxes of glass bottles full of a brownish liquid, consistent with the colour of “añejo”, or aged tequila. The labels on the bottles were not visible.
Mexico is the world’s only producer of authentic tequila. While there have not been any reported instances of such bottles reaching consumers, ingesting the mixture would be incredibly dangerous.
Mexico has become a major producer of methamphetamine, and drug smugglers frequently are stopped at the border with liquid meth in their windshield washer fluid or other containers in their cars.
The liquid meth is then usually recovered by the smugglers and taken to facilities where the water is extracted and then returned to its usually crystal form.