Portugal seizes 4.2 tons of cocaine hidden in banana shipments | world news

Packets of cocaine in fruit crates are on display for the media at the Portuguese Police Headquarters in Lisbon on Tuesday May 2nd, 2023. Police said they seized 4.2 tonnes of cocaine hidden in a shipment of bananas from Latin America to Portugal. (AP Photo/Armando Franca)

Packets of cocaine were hidden in fruit crates (Image: AP)

A shipment of bananas in Portugal turned out to be cocaine worth over 100 million euros.

Authorities announced today that they had seized 4.2 tonnes of the Class A drug hidden in six pallets of fruit from Colombia.

“It is the largest cocaine seizure this year and one of the largest in recent years,” said Vitor Ananias, coordinator of criminal investigations at the Judicial Police.

The cargo had entered the country aboard an Italian-flagged cargo ship via the port of Setúbal, south of Lisbon.

This photo taken at the Policia Judiciaria – PJ (Criminal Police) headquarters in Lisbon on May 2, 2023 shows a criminal police officer handling bricks of cocaine (4.2 tons) confiscated by Portuguese authorities from Latin America and hidden in commercial crates of bananas have been the past few weeks during an investigation. (Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP) (Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP via Getty Images)

A detective handling the cocaine stones at Lisbon headquarters (Image: AFP)

This photo, taken at the Policia Judiciaria – PJ (Criminal Police Department) headquarters in Lisbon on May 2, 2023, shows criminal police officers handling bricks of cocaine (4.2 tons) seized by Portuguese authorities and hidden in commercial crates of bananas imported from Latin America were during an investigation last week. (Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP) (Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP via Getty Images)

Police open the packages in the pallets (Image: AFP)

According to police, the cocaine was of “high purity” and destined for several European countries.

No arrests have been made yet, but police have launched an investigation into the transport.

A statement said: “With this result, the policing activities of the Judicial Police were able to deal a serious financial blow to the criminal organizations involved in this case.

“This is true both in terms of investment in this criminal activity and in terms of the extremely high crime profits that would be generated if this quantity of product drug reached the consumer distribution market.”

As one of the most important trade routes, Portugal is resisting the rising flood of cocaine.

Police have made several significant arrests over the past year, intercepting a total of more than 14 tonnes of cocaine with a street value of around 700 million euros.

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Justin Scaccy

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