UPDATE: Happy April Fools Day!
An Irishman has been arrested at New York’s JFK Airport for smuggling Cadbury’s chocolate into America.
The man, named as Tom Munster, was allegedly caught with a huge consignment of Irish Roses and Cadbury’s Dairy Milk bars, in addition to Creme Eggs and Mini Eggs for the upcoming Easter holiday.
The importation of Cadbury’s was banned in the US in January after rival Hershey’s won a court case. Due to a settlement with the Hershey’s Company, Let’s Buy British Imports, (LBB), the leading importer of foods from Britain to America, was forced to stop importing all Cadbury’s chocolate made overseas. The ruling was a big blow to Irish and British import shops, as well as chocolate lovers across the US.
Since then, a number of Cadbury’s chocolate enthusiasts have tried to circumvent the ban – with one British couple setting up an online service that attracted the wrath of Hershey’s, and many individuals attempting to smuggle the now-contraband chocolate into the country.
In light of this, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has launched an undercover operation to prevent illegal shipments of Cadbury’s from entering the US.
Special sniffing dogs have been used to detect the creamy smell from the Cadbury’s brand, which contrasts with the engine oil smell from Hershey’s, a CBP officer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told IrishCentral. This is a very specialized task as dogs are highly allergic to chocolate.
Munster, who was apprehended yesterday, first attracted the attention of US Customs officials and their sniffer dogs in Dublin and he further aroused suspicion during a routine pat-down, due to the crunching of chocolate wrappers inside his suit coat. He allegedly tried to argue that they were merely “snacks for the flight,” but a search of his luggage revealed a stash of over 200 assorted chocolates hidden among his clothes and other personal items.
Munster was questioned by CBP officers upon his arrival in New York. He admitted that a further shipload of Cadbury’s is expected to arrive at New York’s Red Hook Container Terminal by today, April 1.
If charged, Munster faces a significant time out of five years in jail for importing contraband.
In cooperation with the FBI, the CBP is motioning to see Cadbury's listed as a banned substance, a move that would classify its illegal importing as a class A felony.
“There is no question Cadbury’s is addictive to many people and could drive them to such extremes, we have ample evidence of that,” said the CBP officer.