Two Polish smugglers tried to slip $2.2 million worth of Colombia cocaine into the UK by dissolving the drug and hiding it in the water of hundreds of tropical fish, reported the BBC.
The cocaine was dissolved in bags of fluid, which were stored inside larger bags with the live fish, authorities said.
The men behind the tropical fish caper were 33-year old Olaf Urlik and 32-year-old Norbert Jarzabek, who carried out a trial run last April, in which nearly 16,000 fish were left to die.
In July, they sent a second shipment with 17 killograms of cocaine dissolved in the water of nearly 550 tropical.The fish were left for two days at the airport before being picked up.
The few surviving fish, including stingrays, catfish and tetras, are recovering at the London Zoo.
Rachel Jones, team leader of the aquarium, said the case was “really quite unusual”.
“We do work with the authorities to take confiscations but they’re usually of marine creatures like corals,” she told the BBC.
She said that the fish were very skinny and malnourished when they arrived at the aquarium because of the terrible water quality, which had been deprived of oxygen. But several months later they were “quite plump and doing really, really well,” she added.
Urlik and Jarzabek both admitted conspiracy to import Class A drugs at a hearing in January.