The Drone craze has lots of potential uses. People have used them to deliver packages, attach cameras to them and film wildlife, even use them for making movies. So, it was only a matter of time before criminals caught onto the idea of using them for illegal purposes.

Recently, a drone that was carrying illegal drugs has crashed nearby to a US border crossing in Mexico. The drone was a quadcopter that was carrying 3kg (6.6lb) of methamphetamine. It was found broken into pieces in the car park of a supermarket, near San Ysidro. Police said the drone had probably crashed due to the fact that the drugs onboard had been too heavy for the quadcopter. The police also added that drones were increasingly being utilised to ship illicit items across the border with the United States.

The Tijuana police said in a statement that the drugs had been divided into six individual packets, which were crudely taped to the body of the drone. The police received an anonymous phone call about the crashed drone, subsequently Tijuana law enforcement officers recovered the quadcopter and are now in the process of examining it to ascertain if they are able to trace the perpetrators who set it off and actually where it began its journey.

The Police statement said the drone was a prototype model, which could be given GPS co-ordinates so it would be able to travel to it’s location autonomously and no pilot was required to guide it to it’s destination.

Tijuana police have said that drones were one of the numerous ways that drug-smugglers were using to transport illicit substances across the border. Some other methods have included catapults, tunnels and ultra-light aircraft.

The US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) said last year that drones were becoming so popular to  transport drugs that some gangs were even manufacturing their own models. Engineers were hired by these gangs, to make the devices for the drug cartels. The custom drones were designed to carry more weight than commercially available models, it said. Interestingly, figures from the DEA suggested that drones were making more than 150 trips a year.

[Image via Mashable]

SOURCE: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-30932395