By The Associated Press
SYDNEY, Australia — Customs officers discovered nearly 10.5 ounces of ecstasy tablets hidden inside a Mr. Potato Head toy sent to Australia from Ireland, the agency said Thursday.
Upon opening the parcel, the officers were greeted with the smiling face of the popular children's toy, which features a potato-like head and removable facial features. But when they removed a panel from the back of the toy, the officers found 10.34 ounces of ecstasy in a plastic bag.
The Australian Customs Service referred the matter to federal police, but no arrests were immediately made, the agency said. The maximum penalty for importing drugs to Australia is life imprisonment.
''Whilst this is one of the more unusual concealments that we have seen in recent times, people need to be aware that Customs officers are alert to unusual and often outlandish methods of concealment,'' Customs Director Post Karen Williams said.