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Berlin supermarkets discover boxes of cocaine

Authorities say that boxes full of cocaine and bananas were sent by drug smugglers as a "logistical error".

Last updated: 08 Jan 2014 09:21
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Supermarket staff discovered containers shortly before the bananas went on sale to the public [Reuters]

Containers filled with bananas and cocaine have been delivered to five Berlin supermarkets in what police called a "logistical error" by drug smugglers. 

Supermarket staff discovered the containers with a total of 140 kg of cocaine on Monday shortly before the fruit went on sale to the public, police and customs investigators said. 

"We were of course surprised," senior police officer Olaf Schremm, who heads the local drug investigation department,said on Tuesday. "I don't know where the mistake was in the perpetrators' delivery chain."

The banana cartons, part of a consignment of 1,134 boxes, were brought by ship from Colombia to Hamburg and delivered to a fruit wholesaler in Berlin. Cocaine was found in seven of them. 

Destination unclear

The boxes were eventually delivered to five supermarkets in the Berlin area, but investigators said the intended destination of the cocaine was unclear.

It was the largest discovery of cocaine in Germany's capital in about 15 years and has an estimated black market value of six million euros, according to police.

Drug smugglers use airmail or couriers to import cocaine more often than ships. and it is very difficult to keep track of thousands of containers which are stored in the port of Hamburg for only a short time, police said.  

 

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Source:
Reuters
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