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  • Writer's pictureDahlia Foundation

Record cocaine haul hidden in Ecuadorean banana shipment intercepted in Spain

Many packages in the nine-tonne-plus drug consignment were labelled with swastikas and the word 'Hitler'

Spanish police and customs announced on Friday the seizure of almost 9.5 tonnes of cocaine from Ecuador, believed to be the largest in the country's history. The seizure took place on Wednesday in the port of Algeciras (south of Spain) and constitutes "the largest concealed shipment of cocaine in Spain to date": 9,436 kilos that had been concealed in banana boxes in a refrigerated container, the authorities said. The organisation responsible for the shipment was reportedly able to send 40 containers a month to Europe and "had a vast commercial network for shipping containers from Ecuador to Spain", also using the port of Vigo in north-west Spain.

This operation constitutes "an unprecedented blow to one of the world's most important criminal organisations involved in the distribution of cocaine, which was destined for the main criminal networks in Europe", said the press release, without identifying the organisation. No arrests have been reported.

The logos of more than 30 European criminal organisations were detected on the shipment. Many of the packages were branded with swastikas and the word "Hitler", similar to a consignment of cocaine that was intercepted in Peru en route to Belgium in May this year.

At the time, authorities said they were investigating whether the shipment had any link to European neo-Nazi groups, but that it was also possible the labels were simply being used as code to denote particular recipients.

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