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On the surface of it, a laundry detergent box sounds like quite a good place to hide loads of cocaine. Because, you know, they're usually full of white powder.
However, one gang in Brazil appears to have made a major balls-up at a key stage of their drug smuggling operation, as 50kg of coke-filled boxes - ostensible containing washing up powder - ended up on the shelves of a store in São Paulo.
Limpando as ruas de criminosos: Policiais Militares prendem 4 que usavam caixas de sabão em pó para camuflar drogas. Veja mais: https://t.co/nyxd1QeVVT pic.twitter.com/OlYE8GPTR2
- POLÍCIA MILITAR - SP (@PMESP) July 15, 2019
The dirty laundry was first hung out to air on Monday after a customer complained that the detergent he had bought from the supermarket in Ermelino Matarazzo was in fact a tablet of cocaine paste.
Hardly the usual mouldy fruit / out-of-date / overcharged complaint, is it?
"Hi, excuse me? Yes, my washing up powder in fact seems to be a clump of an extremely valuable Class A drug... No, I do not want store credit."
The unusual nature of the complaint did not stop there though, because rather than being inundated with apologies and vouchers, the customer was instead threatened by gang members, according to G1.
A second man then bought a box of the white wash laundry powder from the store, but upon realising it wasn't as clean as he'd thought, he chose to go to the police rather than back to the store.
Police subsequently rocked up at the store and Detective Olívio Gomes Lira said the owner attempted to flee in his 4x4 with the cocaine paste tablets, which could have been made into around 200kg of saleable cocaine.
A 49-year-old man was arrested as well as three store employees, with the police proudly tweeting their haul with the caption: "Cleaning the streets of criminals."
Detective Lira said he assumed the cocaine had ended up on shelves by mistake.
According to The Guardian, he said: "I had never found anything like this. It's the first time I found cocaine inside a soap box.
"The first hypothesis we are working on is that someone put these on the shelf for sale by mistake.
"We believe he used the business as the front to wash dirty money."
Clearly then, it is a great time to be a part of the Military Police of the State of São Paulo, where the only thing they enjoy more than a major drug bust is celebrating a major drug bust with a cheeky pun.
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