LISBON: Portuguese authorities seized 4.2 tonnes of cocaine packed among bananas on a cargo ship destined for several European countries, law enforcement officials said on Tuesday.
The cocaine entered Portuguese territory on board an Italian-flagged ship in the port of Setubal, located 30 kilometres (19 miles) south of Lisbon.
The “highly pure” cocaine has an estimated value of more than 100 million euros ($109 million), said Vitor Ananias, a coordinator for the Portuguese judicial police.
It is “one of the most important cocaine seizures this year”, he added and will result in “severe financial damage to the criminal trafficking organisations involved”.
The operation, which resulted from international cooperation with Colombia and several European countries, has so far led to no arrests.
Smuggling illicit drugs in fruit shipments is not uncommon. Dominican law enforcement on April 1 reported the seizure of two tonnes of cocaine headed to the Netherlands, hidden in a shipment of bananas. – AFP