I had received notifications that I let pass a "possible smuggler". But for me is not really clear how to detect smugglers in Papers, Please, could you help?

2 Answers 2


Primarily you should be looking for a variance between the weight shown on the scales when a prospective entrant steps into your booth, and the weight listed on the entrant's ID supplement, Access Permit, Identity Card or Grant of Asylum.

If the listed weight differs from the actual weight of the entrant, you can raise this as a discrepancy, and the resulting interview will provide you with the opportunity to scan the entrant with your X-ray.

Contraband will be visible on the (rather depressing) photo - often strapped to the entrant's back, chest or legs - as a distinctive black block or smudge. You can then raise a discrepancy between the contraband on the photo and the 'No weapons or contraband' rule in your rulebook; the entrant should then be 'removed' from your booth by a guard, and you can proceed with your duties.

Glory to Arstotska.

(Sources: Personal gameplay, http://papersplease.wikia.com/wiki/Contraband)

  • 6
    Glory to Arstotska!
    – Doktor J
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 15:17

Once you receive the notification that you should stop smugglers, you'll also gain access to the x-ray machine. Any attempt to introduce smuggled goods in the glorious Republic of Arstotzka will show up in the x-rays picture you get from the machine, also showing any cross-gender attempt to fool you.

  • 1
    I think you need to find a discrepency before you can use the x-ray IIRC.
    – Rapitor
    Commented Jun 27, 2014 at 12:41
  • 6
    A difference in weight can also indicate a smuggler.
    – Brysonic
    Commented Jun 27, 2014 at 12:43
  • @Brysonic a difference in weight isn't a definitive proof, it's possible that it's completely legit
    – Kappei
    Commented Jun 27, 2014 at 13:36
  • The strange thing is that I think I performed the x-ray machine and dind't find any strange issue, but I have to re-check paying more attention.
    – Drake
    Commented Jun 27, 2014 at 14:45
  • 1
    @Drake there should be an option near the bottom right of the image to flip it over
    – l I
    Commented Jun 27, 2014 at 20:28

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