A ‘huge drugs bust’ at Gatwick Airport has left the authorities rather red-faced after the contraband in question turned out to be vegan cake mix! A member of staff from Purezza vegan pizzeria was transporting the ingredients in a suitcase when she was stopped by police at the UK’s second-largest airport.
The white powder, perhaps understandably, attracted some suspicion from the authorities, with the cake mix having been separated into small blue bags for the purpose of transportation. But further inspection revealed that the powder was rather more innocuous than the police had suspected.
Commenting on the issue, the British Transport Police released a statement providing their version of events:
“Officers were called to Gatwick airport station at 1.34pm on 28 August after a suitcase was found containing 25 bags of powder. Following a number of inquiries and tests, it was determined these bags of powder were cake ingredients for a vegan bakery. They were soon reunited with the owner, who has promised officers and staff a slice of cake in return.”
Thankfully, Purezza, which has outlets in both Brighton and London, saw the funny side of the incident on Twitter:
The restaurant also contacted the British Transport Police directly, offering them a slice of cake as a peace offering! Purezza specializes in vegan pizza, but also offers an array of vegan-friendly sweet treats as well.
This is certainly not the first incident of mistaken contraband at a British airport, and whatever the rights and wrongs of what occurred, it is nonetheless advisable for passengers to ensure that they don’t contravene the regulations regarding luggage, and check the regulations before they finalize packing arrangements.
While the approach of the authorities may seem slightly heavy-handed at times, it should also be said in mitigation that very serious situations do arise at airports on a pretty regular basis. For example, in March explosive devices were found by officers at Heathrow.
Counter-terror police had been called to Heathrow Airport in order to assess two suspect packages, which ultimately turned out to contain explosives. A third package was also located at London’s Waterloo Station.
Officers at the time described the explosives as having been in an A4 size postal bag. The devices were, according to their statement “small improvised explosive devices”.
Other drugs busts
And there have been some other bizarre drugs-related incidents that have occurred at airports around the world. For example, a passenger aboard an Aeroméxico flight from Bogota to Tokyo died after ingesting 246 packets of cocaine that he was attempting to smuggle, when one of them burst inside him.
Elsewhere, officials in Malaysia seized over 5,000 turtles from an AirAsia flight earlier this year.