Drug hidden in bananas seized in Greece and Czechia

Greek police have arrested four British nationals suspected of being involved in smuggling more than $50 million in narcotics concealed in shipments of bananas.

Nearly 300 kilos of cocaine were concealed in a shipment of bananas. (Photo: Greek Ministry of Citizen Protection)The four suspects, two of whom are suspected leaders of an international drug trafficking ring, were being held at a residence near Thessaloniki, Greek police said in a statement. statement. The fifth member of the gang is still at large.

The arrests came after around 300 kilograms of cocaine were intercepted in Italy last month in an operation by Italian customs authorities and the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to disrupt a global drug trafficking ring.

The cocaine was hidden in regular shipments of bananas from a Latin American country to Australia and several European countries and was later found in the gang’s apartment in Thessaloniki, along with a gun, considerable amounts of money and communication gadgets.

Police said they believe the gang may have profited more than $10.41 million from the shipment, split into 260 packages.

The group is also believed to be engaged in a similar effort to transport more than 650 kilograms of cocaine hidden in 23 banana crates aboard a ship discovered by Italian officials in April.

Some 840 kilograms of cocaine concealed in banana crates, with an estimated black market value of $84.21 million, were also discovered in the Czech Republic. In this case, the drug was accidentally delivered to supermarkets in several Czech cities.

“Supermarket employees found cocaine cubes molded into boxes containing bananas,” Czech police said. tweeted Friday.

Police did not reveal more details about the case, but said the country’s anti-narcotics authority (Národní protidrogová centrála) will investigate the case further with the support of international law enforcement and judicial institutions. .

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