A child, aged between five and six years, found a small bag of white powder inside a Kinder Surprise egg which police later confirmed was a cover for smuggling Meta-Amphetamine in the town of Limvady in North Ireland.
The child discovered the drugs while playing outside with his eight-year-old brother in the Edenmore Road area, before handing it over to his father, the Belfast Telegraph reported. The boy spotted a plastic shell from the egg in a hedge. He opened it thinking there would be a toy inside.
It was passed on to the police who yesterday revealed the substance was methamphetamine, also known as crystal meth -- a drug that could have caused the youngster serious harm if it had been ingested.
Methamphetamine is an extremely addictive stimulant. It takes the form of a white, bitter-tasting crystalline powder that gives users a euphoric high, but can cause brain damage in the long term.
Inspector Colin Shaw, working for the police service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), said: "This incident is of the uppermost concern for all of us. Tackling the use and supply of illegal drugs is a priority for us and the possibility that something so potentially dangerous has been discarded where children could find it is deeply concerning."
This, however, is not a unique, isolated incident. According to an article published by the Daily Mail in 2010, smugglers have been caught using the chocolate eggs for smuggling contraband such as crack cocaine estimated to be worth Â£5,000.
Kinder Surprise Eggs are plastic eggs that are completely encased in chocolate. After eating the chocolate, the plastic shell is opened to reveal a toy. Even without the meth, the eggs are illegal to sell in the US because the plastic interior could pose a choking hazard. There have been three recorded fatalities, and reports suggest that the US customs impose a hefty fine ranging from $1,200 to $2,500 per egg.
But according to claims in a report in the Independent, Mars chocolate actively lobbied with the US government to have confections with interior toys banned any time a similar product comes in the market. For instance, in 1997, when NestlÃ© tried to introduce (the similar) Magic chocolate balls in the US, Mars was instrumental in promoting civil action to prevent the marketing of this product.
Aside from unfair competition, Kinder Joy has much more to do with politics than you could possibly imagine. Renowned philosopher Slavo Zizek has used it as a metaphor to discuss transcendental philosophy, human nature, human rights, equality and commodity fetishism in the documentary "The perverts guide to Ideology" and his article "Human Rights in a Chocolate egg."
But a note of caution, reading this heavy duty stuff may invoke the urge to cook some meth: