Cocaine discovered at United Nations Headquarters valued at more than $2 million

New York – Perhaps somebody at United Nations Headquarters likes to party a bit too much.

Perhaps something more serious was afoot last week.

Officials at United Nations Headquarters here said yesterday that more than 35 pounds of a substance identified as cocaine was discovered in the mailroom of the UN Secretariat Building, according to The New York Times.

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Phony diplomatic pouches made of cheap cotton and bearing the UN emblem were discovered last week, having been delivered from Mexico by the courier services DHL, The Times reprted, citing unnamed diplomats unauthorized to discuss the matter with the press. Undersecretary Secretary-General Gregory Starr, head of security at UN headquarters, was quoted as saying that the contents at first appeared to be 14 notebooks but these were in fact hollowed out and filled with the drug.

The contents were handed over to the New York Police Department and the US Drug Enforcement Administration, according to The Times, which said Starr claimed that the packages had not been sent from UN officies in Mexico and speculated that the packages were sent in an attempt to avoid border and customs inspection by using the UN name.

According to the Agence France-Presse news agency, experts said the contents had a street value of more than $2 million. There were no return address and no sender identified on the package.

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"Somebody in Mexico is probably in trouble now having let a significant amount of cocaine out of their possession,” Paul J. Browne, chief spokesman for the New York police, was quoted as saying.

UN spokesman Martin Nesirky was quoted by CNN as saying that authorities have not identified the intended recipient.

In 2003, a reporter for Time watched as a general strike by food service workers caused diplomats and UN staff to loot cafeterias, taking alcohol and silverware for themselves in what one person present described as chaos.

A member of UN security staff told Time that the scene was "unbelievable, crowds of people just taking everything in sight; they stripped the place bare." And yet another astonished witness said that "chickens, turkeys, soufflés, casseroles all went out the door (unpaid)."

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