Contraband and smugglers’ objects
Objects used by smugglers, confiscated goods and contraband also form part of our collection. From shoes with false soles to specially made smuggling clothing and fake articles that cannot be distinguished from the real thing. The history of the world of customs, borders, smuggling and inspections delivers many ‘exciting’ items. And behind every object there is a story, like the ‘drug toilet’.
Object: bicycle, smuggling mediumThis smuggler’s bicycle dates from the 1930s. Alcohol was smuggled to Belgium in the hollow mudguards. Cigarette rolling papers were brought back in the hollowed-out saddle. At the time, there was a separate tax on rolling papers in the Netherlands.