Blog: Could you be an unsuspecting drugs mule?

Dr Ken German
By Dr Ken German

Previously an officer in the Metropolitan Police Stolen Car Squad – part of the Flying Squad – Dr Ken German has a BA and PhD in international vehicle crime; he’s been key to many anti-theft policies and vital governmental and insurance decisions. He also developed the potential for transponders and parts marking, helping to create Datatag. Dr Ken is a world authority on motorcycle crime, and a key advisor to the industry...

Could you be an unsuspecting drugs mule?

 

Special Branch and Customs officials at several of the UK’s ports are stopping solo motorcyclists carrying luggage returning from European holidays and race meets, ordering them to search their own baggage in the presence of the officers.

In more than a dozen previous cases this year, which is also resulting in race teams and their trailers being checked, customs officers have found small packages containing drugs and counterfeit money clamped to the underside of mudguards, baggage, trailers and top boxes.

By including a simple homemade tracking device, crime gangs operating this ‘innocent mule’ system fix the package to your vehicle when unattended. Then, if you successfully pass through customs, you’ll be followed or tracked to your next stop – or even to your own home – where the packages and tracker would be retrieved. Whether or not that includes your bike depends on the gang…

The value of the customs sniffer dogs cannot be underestimated, but the sheer volume of summer traffic at any of the UK's 41 ports is huge; a very conservative estimate is that one attempt out of every 10 will get through.

Customs officers have also reported packages that have been found inside engine cylinders of race machines, as well as spare engines and gearboxes, though these have been placed there by the owners. If you’re not a crook, you needn’t worry about drugs finding their way into your motor, but it’s worth being vigilant for anything unusual on your bike or car if you’re travelling overseas…

 

 
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