MOSCOW:- Russian traffic police have busted a caviar smuggling operation after stopping a speeding hearse with half-a-ton of black caviar hidden in a coffin. The driver of the funeral home vehicle told police that he was transporting a dead woman to the far-eastern city of Khabarovsk, but upon inspection it turned out that “there was no dead body in the car,” regional police said in a statement. Policemen found plastic containers with caviar under the funeral wreaths and even inside the coffin, with the total haul amounting to 500kg.–AFP

The prized delicacy - the salt-cured eggs of sturgeon fish that were originally found mainly in the Caspian Sea - fetches around $100 for a tiny 125 gramm jar. Catching the fish in the wild has been banned as sturgeon numbers have dropped perilously low after over-fishing during the Soviet era and only farmed caviar is legal to sell.