Police have seized more than 907kg of cocaine with a street value of around £68million after bumbling drug lords mistakenly delivered the transport to supermarkets in the Czech Republic hidden in shipments of bananas.
Employees of supermarkets in the capital Prague and the towns of Jicin and Rychnov nad Kneznou first reported the suspicious blocks.
The transport of 2,200 pounds of cocaine, apparently originating in Colombia, arrived via Europe’s second largest port, Hamburg.
“Supermarket workers this afternoon found cubes of cocaine molded into boxes containing bananas,” police said on Twitter, along with photos of some of the loot.
Jakub Frydrych, head of the police’s anti-narcotics unit, told Czech public radio that the cocaine probably came from Central America.
“Criminal investigators found that goods from the same batch had been distributed to several other locations in the Czech Republic,” Czech police said in a statement.
“Therefore, in collaboration with the [Customs Administration of the Czech Republic] and other entities, it is currently carrying out inspections of these places and other actions.”
They added that they were now ready to work with international authorities to further their investigation.
They said: “Information about shipments is kept outside the territory of the Czech Republic. For this reason, we will use the Institute for International Police and Judicial Cooperation.
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“The case has been taken over by the National Center for Drug Control, which will conduct the investigation. We will provide more information as soon as possible.”
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said in its latest report, released in 2021, that “Cocaine manufacture reached record levels in 2019, despite declining growth.
“Global cocaine production doubled between 2014 and 2019 to reach approximately 1,784 tonnes (expressed at 100% purity) in 2019, the highest level on record.”
UNODC added: “In 2019, Colombia continued to account for the vast majority of the world’s area under coca bush.”