Cocaine worth €95m among bananas at Vlissingen port

Part of the haul. Photo:
Part of the haul. Photo:

Customs officers in the port of Vlissingen in Zeeland found nearly 1.3 tonnes of cocaine hidden in a shipment of bananas during a routine control earlier this week, the public prosecution department said.

The drugs, with a street value of over €95 million were hidden in two containers which started their journey to Vlissingen in Ecuador via Antwerp.

The bananas were meant for a company in Vlissingen but police have ruled out any imvolvement on its part. The drugs have been destroyed.

Rotterdam, not Vlissingen, is the usual port of choice for drug smugglers.  Last month customs seized a haul of cocaine there worth some €200 million.

In September last year, European policing organisation Europol published a report saying the increased use of shipping containers to conceal drugs has made the high volume ports of Antwerp, Rotterdam and Hamburg the new epicentre of the European cocaine market.

While Antwerp is the biggest arrival port for cocaine, most of the drug is ‘is likely intended for organisations operating out of the Netherlands, from where the cocaine is further distributed to other European destinations, Europol said.

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