An alleged drug trafficking ring attempted to cash in on the 2018 World Cup.
According to the Associated Press, six individuals were arrested in Argentina this week, after they were suspected of smuggling marijuana and cocaine inside fake World Cup trophies. Authorities carried out a raid in Isidro Casanova in La Matanza Partido, Greater Buenos Aires, where they discovered 20 kilos of marijuana, 10 kilos of cocaine, 1,800 doses of crack-cocaine hidden within the replicas. Officers also seized two firearms, a couple of vehicles, and 400,000 Argentine pesos—$14,819—during the sweep, according to the UK Sun.
The scheme was conducted by a crime organization known as “Narcos de la Copa.” Four men and two women were arrested in the operation, which attempted to transport the aforementioned drugs without raising any suspicion.
“These merchants of death have endless ingenuity, but don’t be fooled. They shouldn’t be admired. On the contrary ... they are now in jail,” Buenos Aires Security Minister Cristian Ritondo said in a statement.
This isn’t the first time drug traffickers have attempted to exploit the buzz surrounding the popular sporting event. In 2010, Argentine officers reportedly seized World Cup replicas made out of cocaine. That same year, Columbian authorities confiscated a fake World Cup trophy made out of 24 pounds of cocaine mixed with gasoline or acetone.