Man’s ingenuity in bypassing the law of the land is never in doubt. We resort to every trick of the trade to infiltrate even our most cherished tea in order to satisfy the drug-orientated merchants and thereby boost sales of their products.
Italian police have recently ordered that a Peruvian coca tea be removed from the shelves after it was found to have contained significant levels of cocaine. The tea, which has been stocked in Italy for years, was imported from Peru by a Milan-based wholesaler. Officials made a cup of the tea and then tested the drinker’s blood levels. High levels of cocaine were found in the bloodstream.
The discovery was made earlier last month after a 38 year old bus driver from Genoa, named Roberto, tested positive for the illegal stimulant after undergoing a routine drug test. The driver insisted he had not taken cocaine and had an exemplary ten years of service at the Genovese transport authority.
He told the company doctor that as a reason he might have failed the test was because the day before he had drunk a large cup of tea which he often bought from an ethnic food store. The company doctor asked him to bring two teabags to his office, after which he made himself a brew and drank it. The next day, the doctor performed a drugs test on himself and tested positive for cocaine.
Italy’s food police, NAS, tested the tea and confirmed the doctor’s findings. Police said it was made with small quantities of cocaine leaves and contained not insignificant amounts of cocaine hydrochloride. The owner of the shop was not charged with any crime but the tea has now been removed. Police are also investigating the Peruvian importer who was bringing the tea into the country.
It goes to prove that nothing is new under the sun. Flaunting the law of the land is a sporting activity of those determined to prove that authority is fair game for the initiated in the illegal trade of drugs and other forbidden commodities. However, when the game is over, a new ruse will always surface.