An official Vatican car with diplomatic license plates was recently stopped in the French Alps, containing a trunk-full of items you might not expect to find inside a 91-year-old Vatican official’s vehicle.
Local reports say the car, belonging to Argentine cardinal Jorge Maria Mejia who also works as emeritus librarian at the Holy See, was filled with several kilos of cocaine and cannabis.
Though the Mejia retired in 2003 and is now bed-ridden following a heart attack, he has a relationship with Pope Francis, the current Vatican leader, who visited Mejia just two days after being elected.
According to the Guardian, the cardinal’s private secretary entrusted the car to two Italian men for its annual tune-up. The men reportedly went to Spain to buy the haul of drugs, hoping they could make it through the border without detection thanks to the official plates. Needless to say, their plan didn’t work out as they’d hoped.
The men were instead arrested on Sunday at a toll station near Chambery, a town in the French Alps, heading back to the Vatican. Since neither of the men had Vatican passports, the Vatican was not technically implicated in the bust. Although the drugs were found in an official vechicle, the Vatican stressed that none of their staff were directly involved with the drugs.