The Italian Almanac


Lobsters and Coke

An Italian man posed as an international chef to try to get a huge cocaine shipment into Italy hidden in a case of lobsters. Giovanni Care', 51, presented his culinary credentials to customs officials poised to examine the crustaceans at Verona airport.

Care' said he had bought the lobsters on an Easter vacation in the Cape Verde islands and was bringing them back to his plush restaurant. But a quick computer search revealed the non-existence of the eatery and found Care' was a known drug pusher.

The man was whisked off to Verona prison after 17 kg of cocaine was fished out from under the lobsters to the shock of his elderly mother, who had taken the island break with her son.