Shipment of cocaine found hidden within plastic bananas

Police and customs agents discovered a massive stash of the class A drug disguised within synthetic bananas in crates transported through the busy Mediterranean port of Algeciras.

Shipment of cocaine found hidden within plastic bananas
Photo: Policia Nacional / Agencia Tributaria

A container filled with 19 boxes of plastic bananas stuffed with cocaine was detected last month after a long investigation into criminal gangs involved in smuggling drugs into Europe from South America.

The smuggled drugs amounted to 171 kgs with an estimated street value of around €17 million ($19 million).

“During a check of a consignment in Port of Algeciras on April 28th, a pallet marked with a red 'X' was discovered by agents,” said a statement from Spain’s National Police. 

“It contained 19 boxes each holding 88 plastic bananas that looked like the real thing. Inside the false bananas was a total of 171 kgs of cocaine.”



The shipment was imported from the Colombian town of Turbo and was destined for a fruit packing company in Huelva. 

It is the latest in a string of ingenious attempts to smuggle drugs into Spain that have been detected by Spanish authorities. In April, a shipment of furniture was discovered to be made entirely of cocaine paste.

Spain's close ties with its former colonies in Latin America have made it the main entry point used by drug smugglers to bring cocaine into Europe.

Spanish authorities seized over 22 tonnes of cocaine in 2015, a 43 percent increase on the previous year.

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