You’re probably thinking this story can’t be real and I’ll grant you that it sounds too good to be true. But it has been reported by the BBC, CNN and a bunch of other semi-reliable news orgs, so I think it’s real. CNN explains how the tight lockdown restrictions currently in place in Auckland, New Zealand created a black market in delicious contraband.
Under Auckland’s Alert Level 4 lockdown measures — the strictest in the country — restaurants, including takeout services, remain closed. Everyone must stay home and only essential services are open.
The rest of New Zealand is at Level 2, with restaurants, cafes, bars and nightclubs open, and residents permitted to leave their homes.
The BBC reports the drivers of the suspicious vehicle did a U-turn in front of police. The driver was probably worried the cops would smell what was hidden in the trunk if they drove by.
“Upon seeing the police car, the vehicle did a u-turn and sped off trying to evade police,” they said. “The vehicle was searched and police located the cash, alongside empty ounce bags and a large amount of takeaways.”
Police photos showed at least three buckets of chicken, about 10 cups of coleslaw, a large package of fries, and four large bags containing other KFC items.
They also seized NZ$100,000 (US$70,000; £51,000) in cash.
It is unclear whether the men intended to sell the food or if they hoped to use it as a distraction if they were to be pulled over.
The police are still investigating and at this point they aren’t sure if the $70,000 was money made from previous sales of contraband chicken or if it was part of some other criminal activity. Honestly, I hope this was their 4th or 5th run and they actually made the $70k selling plastic baggies of extra crispy chicken pieces by the ounce.
In any case, the two men aren’t being charged for having the cash at this point, only for violating the public health law. One person on Twitter noted that the cops laid out the evidence as if this were a major drug bust:
2 people got caught trying to smuggle KFC into a locked down city in my home country today and the police laid the KFC out like a drug bust. pic.twitter.com/B21vbIf9HA
— Jordan Patu (@Jordan_Patu) September 20, 2021
The best part of this story is the part that isn’t mentioned. What happened to all that chicken? Technically it’s evidence so it should have been bagged and tagged as evidence for a future trial. But I’m willing to bet the police didn’t weigh the buckets before they headed to the evidence lockup. Some of the officers working that night had greasy fingers after this bust. I don’t blame them a bit. I can smell it right through the screen.