Authorities Catch Pigeon Smuggling 178 Ecstasy Pills Across Border

A pigeon drug lord was caught trying to smuggle ecstasy pills across this country's border.

Credit: Al-Rai

Smugglers will go to great lengths to transport drugs across borders – including attaching pills or powder to the backs of pigeons.

According to a report by Al-Rai, officials in Kuwait recently apprehended a pigeon attempting to smuggle 178 ecstasy pills from Iraq into the country. Apparently, the pigeon drug lord was tracked by the authorities until it flew above the customs building in Kuwait and then landed.

A GQ report adds that carrier pigeons are oftentimes used to smuggle drugs like cocaine and ecstasy across borders. That’s because the ordinary-looking birds can fly around 150km without stopping. They can also carry roughly 10% of their body weight. That means one of the birds can carry between 300 and 500 grams – or, £2,500 worth – of drugs.


The first drug-smuggling pigeon was discovered in Russia, near a prison camp in Astrakhan in 2006. Reportedly, smugglers would place pigeons inside a plastic bottle with a consignment of drugs and then throw the birds over the prison line. Inmates would then pick the birds up, acquire the drugs, attach payment, then release the bird to fly home.

Just think about this the next time you see a pigeon. You never know what they may be up to…

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