Cheers el reg, just what I needed to keep me going on this 'monday' morning
Japanese customs have very agreeably handed out 142g of cannabis to an unwitting passenger at Tokyo's Narita airport during a drugs-busting test operation "went awry". According to the BBC, an operative planted the pot in the side pocket of a randomly-selected suitcase belonging to an innocent incoming passenger. The airport's …
That's one helluva lump of gear. And the dog(s) couldn't find it?
Dunno who's more useless, the guy or the dog(s).
Chances of getting it back. close to zero, I'd guess.
Let's face it, it's probably made somebody VERY happy. Maybe if they trawl the passenger lists and look for someone who's spending WAY more on grub than usual...
Imagine this happening to you in Indonesia or Thailand.. And then you get 20 year or life, because the official is too embarrased to own up.
At least in this case the officer was up front. Might not happen in all cultures.
(That is me checking my pockets for weed before going through customs..)
...of the time when ASIO (Australia's cross between MI5 and the Keystone cops) ran an exercise in which they placed explosives in a waste bin outside a Sydney hotel. Before they could "find" it, a garbage truck pulled up, the contents of the bin were compressed, and a fatal explosion resulted.
Anonymous, because they are probably reading this.
Maybe this shows that all the training on the dogs had done was to teach them to recognise the "standard dummy bag" and not cannabis at all!
Reminds me of a story of a neural net system for the army designed to recognise tanks ... designers used lots of photos they took of a tank exercise on salisbury plane along with photos of the identical views without tanks taken the next day. After using these to train the neural net they were very happy with its accuracy ... until the tried to demo it "in the field" where it failed miserable. After analysis they eventually determined they'd trained the net to distniguish (with high degree of accuracy) between "sunny day" and "cloudy day"
So, what happens if the passengers luggage was automatically transferred onwards to say... Indonesia, Dubai, etc?
They have the death penalty there for this kind of thing, and not a very sympathetic attitude to people pleading ignorant.
Did the Japanese authorities want their drugs back before, or after, their victim is executed?
You'll need to specify the Reg units a bit more precisely as there are regional variations to take in to account.
ie. is it an eighth you've got from a mate or regular retail outlet, an eighth from the bloke in the pub or an eighth from a street vendor? Any other variations such as quality or added artificial colourings, flavourings and thickeners are to be discounted as the mass is still supposed to be the same.
From the "Government Interactions" section of the American Vacuum Society history at http://www2.avs.org/historybook/chapter4c.htm
" This era has been relatively free of confrontations with the government but there was one “explosive” incident involving a former President, Paul Holloway, who was returning from a conference in Scotland via Amsterdam. All went well until he reached his final destination of Orlando, Florida. There he was met by his wife and found that his suitcase had been damaged. While complaining at the Northwest Airlines baggage counter, he opened the suitcase and found what “looked like two giant bars of ivory soap” which he had not packed! These turned out to be C-4 plastic explosives, the same material which had been used to destroy Pan Am flight 103 over Scotland in 1988! The police were called and eventually Paul was cleared and allowed to go home. The C-4 had been placed in his case by the police in Amsterdam to test the security system, but they forgot to remove it! The Dutch Ministry of Justice later demanded an enquiry and the airport police in Amsterdam apologized profusely. Imagine if this had happened after September 11, 2001! The incident was described in the Mar/Apr 1991 issue of the Newsletter. "
Paul Holloway is a professor at the University of Florida. http://www.mse.ufl.edu/~pholl/
as David Shepherd says, maybe they've trained the dogs to recognise suitcases not cannabis?
A lot of this "sniffer dog" publicity stuff looks extremely dubious when looked at from an experimental science point of view rather than a "let's scare the occasional users" point of view...
For those of you having trouble converting the weight to more common standards understood around these parts...
142g = 33.8095 Mili Jubs...
Source = http://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/page/reg-standards-converter.html
Mines the one with the chocolate finger prints all over it and the ZigZags in the pocket...
After reading the comments to this point (last comment posted 27 May 19:30), I am truly disappointed and amazed at the lack of outrage. Most of the commenters here seem to think this is a big joke. I can assure you if the innocent person whose privacy was invaded is caught with this in their possession at their destination, they will be less than amused. Especially if their destination is a country where possession means life in prison or death. Virtually all "third world" countries, and even some "first world" countries (such as the US) wouldn't care about the circumstances of how the pot came to be in the person's possession, and wouldn't believe the stranger-than-fiction story of lax security operatives using innocent people's luggage for such tests or failure to retrieve their training materials. The "guilty" person will be immediately thrown in jail or executed. And all most of you commenters can do is make a joke about it, hoping that it happens to you. I hope this does happen to you, and then you can see how amusing it really is. It must be nice to be so ignorant as to believe "it won't happen to me".
Surely the sample will have been labelled "Property of Japanese Customs Bureau (Narita Airport office) Inventory number: 3567" so that if it was found by a non-doggy search it wouldn't get the traveller in trouble... So the Thai customs officials could phone up their Nip colleagues if they found it on some hapless tourist who hadn't checked every pocket of their case before travelling on from Japan.
Or am I just being hopelessly naieve?
"Virtually all "third world" countries, and even some "first world" countries (such as the US) wouldn't care about the circumstances of how the pot came to be in the person's possession, and wouldn't believe the stranger-than-fiction story of lax security operatives using innocent people's luggage for such tests or failure to retrieve their training materials."
How very convenient then, Chris C, for the Register to have highlighted the Shenanigans that Administrations can Conceive to Entrap the Unwary and the Targetted alike.
The questions asked at airports "Did you pack the bag yourself? Did you leave it unattended?" ......leaves all the time in the world for tampering behind the scenes whenever it is signed into airport control for their care and attention....... and as we have learnt, they can do pretty much just what they want to do and most probably frequently do too.
I used to save the little "Your bag has been upended" slips that TSA US Homeland Security used to deposit in my bag during their behind the scenes random examinations. These would be all conveniently where the security would find them when they opened my bag again to dig through with their rubber gloves that have been in countless other bags. Good thing their hands are clean...right? Honestly honey, I am not sure where these crabs came from!? Don't start me on the impending foot fungus epidemic from having to take shoes off thanks to that dumbass Richard Reid.
I agree with the other comments that a heavy bag of dope surreptiously being placed is absolutely terrifying. I had a colleague that got stuck just recently due to (a reservation error) on a broken ticket where he had to collect his luggage and recheck it. Insert training excercise payload here. Onwards destination was UK, good thing transit was not in Japan...but like the rule of cockroaches if you see one there are more.
All I can say I can say is cheers to the K-9 handler that owned up.
On a more preventable level:
To everyone else if you travel to any Middle East country, you might want to double check what they consider illegal drugs in their country. Some cold medicines qualify. Google it before travelling if you have any questions.
Definitely not taking the mickey out of anyone who has to inspect shoes for a living - particularly not ones that people have driven to the airport in or spent hours sweating in on a plane.
Black Helicopter Line: now departing to Eastern Europe and Egypt from London City Airport. Book your next rendition now!
"Japan Today reports that the passenger discovered a small metal box containing the cannabis tucked in a side compartment of his suitcase when he got to his hotel. The man called police who returned the cannabis to Narita airport", Japan Today said.
US cops would have nicked him for possession anyway, even if self-reported...