How To Get Illegal Items Through the Airport – 3


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How to transport illegal items in your carry-on;

Transporting illegal items through an airport is not easy these days, unless you have someone on the inside helping you out. That would in most cases be the best thing, even though it involves trusting someone with that kind of info about what you are going to do. We’ll concentrate on doing it on your own, for simplicity.

Your carry-on will pass through an x-ray scanner on your way through the security checkpoint. This is your obstacle. So how do we beat something that can see through fabric, plastic, rubber, whatever your luggage is made of? If something is placed inside the bag, like a metal plate, to block the image, that will trigger a manual check of your bag, almost certainly blowing your scheme wide open. X-ray operators have, on average, only five seconds to clear a bag when it passes through the scanner and pops onto his or her screen. This is something that we can take advantage of when trying to pass the checkpoint with something illegal in the bag or briefcase.

Getting something you shouldn’t have through security comes down to taking advantage of the operator’s limited time to clear your bag, and a little technical insight into how a bag scanner displays your bag on the screen.
We’ve been over the color scheme before, and below is a typical image generated by a leading brand x-ray scanner;

X-Ray scanner image

X-Ray scanner image

You’ll see that there’s three bottles of liquid there, likely at least one Coca-Cola, based on the shape of the bottle, there’s a camera or two, a lens, a few batteries, a stack of cd’s, zippers, glasses, and so on. Now, you don’t see the stack of cd’s? That’s because they’re edge up in the side pocket at the bottom of the image. It’s a greenish blur there.

This is the main point. If you manage to place an item in your bag so that the edge of say, a knife, is “up” when it goes through the scanner, then it will show up as only a line. If that stack of cd’s had been knife blades, there would only be a bunch of blue lines down there on the screen. That might (probably will) prompt a re-check, but usually, one will not.

Camouflage is another method. Making one thing look like another on the scanner screen is not really all that hard. You can, for example, take advantage of densities in the item. A log of marzipan, for instance, shows up looking exactly like dynamite. (So that’s a bad thing to bring.) But all metal will be blue, all dense plastics and some light metals will be green, while everything organic will show up orange.

Visualize how things will look on the screen when you pack your illegal item in the bag, and place it to create the least amount of visible signature on the screen – you have to make it be a stealth fighter.

Having said all this, you see that it comes down to mostly luck, and a little insight, to get something through airport security. It’s by no means very hard, but just a tiny little wrench in the works, thrown by a security officer actually paying attention, will land you in jail and big trouble. If you’re in the US, it might get you on the no-fly list, and that’s pretty bad.

This article for informational, novelty and educational purposes only. Do not attempt.

{ 194 comments… read them below or add one }

Elizabeth August 27, 2014 at 5:56 am

I’m trying to get alcohol onto a cruise. I’m planning on putting in plastic bags. What advice do you have for that? Lay flat? Rolled up?

Traveler August 8, 2014 at 2:02 pm

I make six international trips a year, each with multiple flights. Do not try taking something illegal through the airport and certainly not into a foreign country. The scanners are very good. Dogs walk among you in line trained to sniff everything from drugs to explosives to produce. I’ve walked past people having knives pulled from their bags, knives pulled from belt buckles, etc. They know ALL the tricks. Many countries are crazy about the slightest amount of drugs. The penalties are harsh.
I once had a plastic toy gun – a sales sample – in my checked bag. I was called on the airport intercom and escorted out onto the tarmac. There in a bus with blacked out windows with bars two people went through my bag as two police with bullet proof vests and automatic weapons watched me wait. They examined the toy gun. Checked EVERYTHING in the bag and finally let me go. If I’d tried to smuggle something they would have taken me to jail right then.
Don’t be naive, don’t be stupid.

SS August 4, 2014 at 9:51 am

Glass makes for a pretty obvious shadow on an x-ray machine, so there’s no real way of hiding it, depending on the shape and size. You can obscure it with metal, of course, but as the article(s) also say, that might trigger a search on its own.

Abdulla August 1, 2014 at 12:01 pm

How can hide mobile phone that includes camera through the x-ray scanner in the airport?

justtryingtorelax July 30, 2014 at 5:03 pm

Im taking a cruise and would like to bring a clean/unused glass water pipe for my hookah, now I know that this isn’t actually illegal in any way as smoking is allowed on the ship, however I don’t want to be hassled in any way on my vacation. It’s about 4 inches tall and 3 wide and completely clear glass, no metal or plastic, but looks like a mini bong. Is there something I could wrap it in that would just hide the distinguishing characteristics of what it looks like?

Raihan July 25, 2014 at 1:18 am

Hey, how do i slip abottle of lsd-25 ? The bottle is just 2/3rd of the pinky finger. And even thinner. The bottle is made of thin plastic. Will it appear orange like coca cola bottle ? The bottle contains 3 ml of lsd-25.

SS June 21, 2014 at 9:21 am

If you can melt gold, make the gold into buckles, or other metal pieces that normally fit inside high end luggage. For example.

DrElvis June 20, 2014 at 7:28 pm

I was thinking about mailing some steroids…Would placing them in a hollow book will do the job ??they are medical ampoules and tablets metal

shahlam June 19, 2014 at 6:55 pm


how can i hide gold…?

i have some machines to melt gold ,

SS June 13, 2014 at 9:36 am

Jerry – dual screens are an exception. not a rule, as you would know if you’ve ever moved outside your own work station. Most scurity checkpoints, airport and other, rely on single emission and image rendering, which means you get a 45 degree angle on the x-rays. This, again, means that the system relies on operators that are well trained, who will spot suspicious items and request a second scan. Minimizing the profile of a knife, for example, will in most cases minimize the chance of it being spotted.
Now, the sort of complacency that you exhibit is one of the major security risks – you should never, ever assume that illegal items won’t get through – illegal items get through checkpoints both in and out of airports every day. Judging by your attitude to it, I’d say illegal items would be pretty easy to get through yours.

Jerry June 12, 2014 at 8:11 pm

I work as an xray scanner in an airport and all that is written here is total bollocks.
We have dual screens so putting a knife facing UP makes no difference cos we get 2 views from side and above. Trust me you wont get through with illegal items period

feteih June 2, 2014 at 3:32 pm

I want to bring a couple oz of marijuana with me

If I wrap it in tin foil and put in a shampoo or grind it n put it in pill capsules and add them with fish oil pills

Would it trigger suspicion?

replacement water filter May 12, 2014 at 3:49 pm

I could not resist commenting. Well written!

Lindsey Lara May 5, 2014 at 7:50 pm

Hi there,

I am looking for images of x-ray luggage for a project I am working on. I see on your website you have some images. Please let me know if you would consider sending them to me. I an amateur artist and am having a heck of a time!

Please let me know if you have any questions!! Thank you for your time!

best, Lindsey Lara

Laura April 27, 2014 at 8:34 pm

How would I be able bring in a couple of tabs of lsd? Would it be easy? Where should I put them?

weedlover420 April 13, 2014 at 10:05 pm

Im trying to bring some thc oil and was gunna put it in a contact case. Will it be seen or do contact cases count as a liquid and have to be put in the zip lock bag

Jimmeh February 20, 2014 at 5:28 am

yaseen, gold will show up just like any other metal January 9, 2014 at 11:01 pm

You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something
that I think I would never understand. It seems too complex
and extremely broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

rebecca December 17, 2013 at 5:43 am

so what if i would bring a vaporizer and im underage, and i would use this strategy, would it work?

SS November 28, 2013 at 5:34 pm

Hi Ameer.
Yes, cigarettes appear on x-ray, and they’re easy to discern, too.

ameer November 27, 2013 at 11:28 pm

i want to smuggle 200 pockes of cigarettes by bag..
are cigarettes apear on x ray?

sundeep November 18, 2013 at 9:42 am

Anybody know how to hide gold from x-ray scanner.?
Is there any option to identify the gold from other metals in x-ray baggage scanner…

Waiting for your reply…

mike October 21, 2013 at 10:04 am

how can i pass shisha tobacco from scanner?

SS October 14, 2013 at 1:57 pm

Mail is primarily checked by x-ray and particle sniffers. Make the knife “invisible” by placing it with dense metals – mind you, that alone might warrant a re-check (manual check) of the parcel, so no guarantees.

SS October 14, 2013 at 1:56 pm

Declare them and check them in. There’s no way you can conceal that many.

Ninja October 13, 2013 at 3:51 pm

I want to take bunch of roman coins (about 1000) through airport… How should i do that?

Enthusiast October 13, 2013 at 12:56 pm

Hey mate.

I want to bring a balisong/butterfly knife into a prohibited country by mail.
they do seem to get seized by custom officials quite often.
to be frank, how would the sender do their best on disguising or concealing it in a mail package?
The item may have wood or even bone inserts on the handle, but the blade is obviously metal, and some parts on the knife handle is also metal.
will it definitely show up? would the official somehow miss the package and it will slide through? what are the chances of that? hrrmmm..

Cheers big ears!

Industrial Suppplier Traveler September 22, 2013 at 11:11 pm

Not worth it, people. Want some more incentive, watch National Geographic’s “Locked up abroad”

Rebecca September 19, 2013 at 8:32 am

will diamonds and gem stones visible to x-ray ? who to hide them from xray.

NSA August 30, 2013 at 12:36 am

Good job. Now all of you are placed in a watchlist.

jane August 22, 2013 at 2:50 pm

Is it possible to detect a money inside the teddy bear and was in a cargo box?

Agent August 6, 2013 at 4:03 pm

One of our customers at security told us that he had been on this site, we just re scanned the pack and oops, gun upper parts, bullets… weed… so funny he butted the weed on juice can… we opened it and woops. Dont belive these thinks on this site, you just get yourself screwed.

Mark July 31, 2013 at 11:39 am

Unfortunately 3D x rays are becoming the norm. 3D x rays are taken from two angles, 45 degrees apart. This means that anything stacked so it looks inconspicuous in one angle will probably look very suspicious from the other angle. So try to keep that in mind.

Mary July 29, 2013 at 4:51 am

I was wondering how can i pass huevitos kinder ?? Its a chocolate egg with a lil toy inside but is illegal cux lil kids choke do u know how they can pass ,.. Last year they toke them away from me :( helppp!!!

Yaseen July 13, 2013 at 7:43 pm

Anybody know how to hide gold from x-ray scanner.?
Is there any option to identify the gold from other metals in x-ray baggage scanner…

Waiting for your reply…

hawkeye76 July 10, 2013 at 3:54 am

I i went to morocco and wanted to bring home an ounce of hashish (personal use), could i roll it up as small balls, place it in m&m bags and get through customs ?
I am thinking its organic, like m&m, so should all just show up as orange circles on the x ray..

Thank you

John smith June 25, 2013 at 6:15 am

I’m having trouble getting a gun from Albania to the UK I’ve heard that if I disassemble it and put it in a old cases player that’s made out of metal it’s unlikely they will find it or if I wrap plastic tape around it what other ways are their to get it through

text your ex June 13, 2013 at 7:49 pm

I love looking through a post that will make people think.

Also, thank you for allowing me to comment!

pirevan June 11, 2013 at 11:38 am

If you pack up herbs in forms of cigarettes would it appear as just organic products ? thanks

Ibod June 10, 2013 at 10:57 am

Hi im going on a school trip to italy and i would like to know if nerf guns would alert anything and if they do then how might i prevent them coming up and which ones if any wouldent come up

SS June 7, 2013 at 7:44 pm

It would show up as a tiny turtle… and yes, it would.

Ellen June 5, 2013 at 4:55 pm

What would a tiny tortoise show up as? And would that triggers search?

SS April 13, 2013 at 6:41 pm

Having seen quite a few such… items on an x-ray, I can tell you that it’s very hard to make it look like something else. :P
We recommend not taking it if you can do without it.

Jessica April 13, 2013 at 5:27 am

Hey SS,
Its pretty realistic and it doesn’t come apart. Theres no battery on it, I hope thats enough info :( . Im very doubtful about taking it with me since that might lead to a very awkward and embarrassing situation. Thats unless you can clearly show me methods of how I can get it through. Thanks

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