Drugs Detected in 3D Printed Animal Figurines

At first glance, it appeared to be a typical package filled with gifts that had been delivered from Mexico to a residence Valparaiso, Chile. Customs had been previously warned about the use of 3D printed objects to conceal narcotics. When the officials finally opened the box, they discovered that it contained 28 3D-printed animal figures. Suspicious the objects were being used to smuggle narcotics, the officers decided to use their MX908 to examine the samples and look for traces (invisible amounts) of illegal substances.

MX908 Identified Drug Substances

MX908 is able to identify drug substances at nanogram levels (1 nanogram = 1 billionth of a gram) in less than a minute. This makes it an ideal technology for customs applications as an officer can quickly obtain a result, often times, from simply swabbing the outside of a package or, in this case, a 3D printed figure containing drugs inside.

The MX908 quickly returned a result for methamphetamine, confirming the officers’ suspicions of the package. In total 4.9kg of drug substances were seized. The Regional Director of the Metropolitan Customs, María José Rodríguez, indicated that “In this case, it should be noted that it is the experience of the Drug Department officials that raises alerts about a shipment that could appear harmless to the naked eye. And on the other hand, the speed with which the new technology that the service has provides conclusive results on the presence of illicit substances in shipments entering Chile.” The evidence was transferred to the proper authorities for further investigation and the event culminated in the arrest of two individuals for drug trafficking.

MX908 detects drugs in 3D printed animal figurines at Chile Customs.

  1. https://www.aduana.cl/en-aeropuerto-evitan-ingreso-de-metanfetamina-en-figuras-de-animales/aduana/2024-03-15/111420.html