A handgun and nearly 1,500 rounds of ammunition were concealed inside packaging for household items such as soap.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Port of Wilmington discovered a handgun and nearly 1,500 rounds of ammunition concealed inside packages of household items like soap going to Honduras Oct. 4.

Customs and border protection officers used a mobile x-ray to scan 200 cardboard boxes in a shipping container destined to Honduras, and detected anomalies inside two boxes.

Further inspection discovered a disassembled Taurus 9mm handgun wrapped separately in aluminum foil, and 1,498 rounds of 9mm and .22 caliber ammunition wrapped in aluminum foil inside Irish Spring soap boxes and other small containers.

It is illegal to export firearms, weapons parts and ammunition without a federal license and permit from the U.S. Department of Commerce or the U.S. Department of State.

Officers seized the weapon, magazine and ammo and are investigating. continues.

The U.S. Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay assisted in this outbound inspection and interception.

"This outbound seizure of a firearm, firearm parts and ammunition is an excellent example of how Customs and Border Protection officers leverage cutting edge technology to enforce our nation's laws and to intercept illicit firearms," said Casey Durst, director of field operations for CBP’s Baltimore Field Office. "Ultimately, we do not want illegally exported weapons ending up in the hands of criminals or criminal organizations, here or abroad."

Customs and border protection officers use a variety of techniques to intercept narcotics, unreported currency, weapons, prohibited agriculture, and other illicit products, and to assure that tourism remains safe.