Halloween was more than a week ago, but candy is still making headlines—this time for a bizarre disappearance of tens of thousands of Kit Kats.
About $250,000 worth of the chocolate wafer candies has basically been held hostage, The New York Times reported on Wednesday. The saga is a little bit hard to follow, but it all revolves around a shipment of 55,000 Kit Kats from Japan, including rare flavors like melon, matcha latte, and daifuku mochi. American fans of the candy are willing to shell out for the unique flavors, which are typically sold only in Japan, some for a limited time or in a limited region.
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It’s because of that Danny Taing had the Kit Kats sent to the United States. Taing is the owner of Bokksu, a company that sells subscription boxes of Japanese snacks, including Kit Kats. He was hoping to flip the candy to consumers, with the initial shipment costing just $110,000. But in a logistical and legal nightmare, Taing’s Kit Kats are sitting in limbo, unable to be sold, let alone released to his care.
“I don’t know if I would be comfortable selling these to customers,” Taing told the Times. “What if something actually happens to customers that eat this, and we get sued?”
When Taing first ordered the Kit Kats from Japan, they arrived in the U.S. safely. But when it came time to ship them across the country, from California to Bokksu’s warehouse in New Jersey, that’s where things got dicey. Bokksu enlisted Shane Black, who runs Freight Rate Central, to coordinate the trucking, reportedly paying him about $13,000 for the job. Black contracted with someone named Tristan, who turned out to be a scammer. When Tristan came clean, he also shared the locations of where he had stored all the Kit Kats. Once Black had that info, he tried to successfully deliver the candy—only he was once again duped by a scammer, this time someone calling himself Manny. (Tristan didn’t respond to The New York Times’ requests for comment. Neither did the company Manny said he had worked for.)
At this point, half of the Kit Kats had disappeared, while the other half were stuck in storage. In trying to get a hold of that candy, Black still came up against roadblocks. The storage facility holding the goods said it had a contract for the Kit Kats with someone named Harry Centa. Black tried to tell the company that there was no Centa—except there is, although he has nothing to do with the Kit Kat saga. “This is totally fraudulent and not me,” Centa, who lives in Ohio and works in shipping, told the Times in an email. “Good luck and hope they find the Kit Kats LOL.”
It would be nice if this story had a happy ending, if the Kit Kats were freed from their holding pattern and returned to Taing. But this is a spooky story, not a fairy tale, and the Kit Kats are still sitting at the same storage facility in California, haunting the place until someone—anyone—can free them.
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