Peru’s anti-narcotics police have seized 58kg (127 pounds) of cocaine headed for Belgium in packages bearing Nazi symbols and imprinted with the name of Germany’s war-time leader Hitler.
The drugs were hidden in 50 packages the size of bricks, each one bearing a Nazi swastika, according to pictures released by police on Thursday. Some of the packages were open with the word “Hitler” written in high relief on the compacted white powder.
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The drugs were found in a Liberian-flagged boat in the small northern port town of Paita, close to the border with Ecuador. The ship had come from Guayaquil, the Ecuadoran port city known as a major jumping-off point for South American drugs heading to the United States and Europe.
Police did not say if anyone was arrested.
The Peruvian police’s anti-drug directorate showed videos and photographs to the Associated Press news agency revealing that the drugs were hidden inside the ventilation system of a container. Police continued to search the more than 80 containers on the vessel.
Drugs wrapped in Nazi insignia is a new development for Peruvian police who have previously reported finding cocaine in brick-shaped packages with various and strange symbols.
After its neighbour Colombia, Peru is the largest producer of cocaine in the world, with about 400 tonnes produced each year, according to official figures.
The country is also one of the largest producers of coca leaf, a product that is legal when used to chew or make an infusion but is also the primary material in cocaine.