German Officials Seize Cocaine-Filled Condoms Headed For Vatican

By McCarton Ackerman 03/25/14

The drugs were shipped from South America and addressed only to the Vatican post office, leaving the ultimate recipient a mystery.

Party central. Photo via

Sex and drugs aren’t often linked to the Vatican, but a new report confirms that an intercepted drug shipment was making its way to one of the holiest places one Earth.

German customs officials at Leipzig Airport seized the package of 14 condoms filled with 12 ounces of liquid cocaine, with the drugs worth a street value of more than $55,300. The incident took place last January.

The drug-filled condoms were found inside a shipment of cushions coming from South America, but there was no direct recipient listed. The package was simply addressed to the Vatican postal office, meaning any of the state’s 800 residents could have collected it. A sting operation by Vatican police to capture the intended recipient also failed to yield results.

The Vatican had no laws regarding drug possession until 2008, most likely because it didn’t even occur to them to have such laws. But that all changed when a Vatican employee was busted with 87 grams of cocaine. The employee was sentenced to the maximum jail sentence available, six months, per a treaty between the Vatican and Italy.

But Nicola Picardi, promoter of justice in the tribunal of Vatican City State, said that creating drug laws was vital to prevent their city from becoming “a free zone for drug dealers and users.” The Vatican still maintains its own prison, which is rarely used.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.

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