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Portugal seizes tons of cocaine hidden in banana shipments


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LISBON, Portugal — Police in Portugal mentioned Thursday they discovered simply over 8 metric tons (8.8 brief tons) of cocaine hid inside banana shipments from Colombia.

The cocaine was hidden within the maintain of three cargo ships that docked in Setubal, a port about 50 kilometers (30 miles) south of the Portuguese capital Lisbon, police mentioned.

The ships made common Atlantic crossings, and the cocaine was destined for a number of European nations, in line with police.

The seizure occurred in latest weeks, police mentioned, however an announcement gave no particular date.

Though massive cocaine seizures aren’t unusual in Portugal, or the remainder of Europe, police mentioned it was one of many largest ever within the nation. The medication have an estimated native avenue worth of greater than 300 million euros ($315 million).

Europe is at present the most important world marketplace for cocaine, the assertion mentioned.

So far this yr, police in Portugal have captured simply over 12 metric tons of cocaine — a rise of virtually 23% on the whole for the entire of final yr.

The European Union police company Europol and different European police forces cooperated within the operation.

Meanwhile, police in northern Portugal mentioned they labored with the Guardia Civil in neighboring Spain to interrupt up an alleged legal ring constructing highly effective speedboats for Spanish gangs.

The boats are used to convey medication, often cannabis, from Morocco into Spain and Portugal. Spain banned the boats 4 years in the past in an effort to crack down on the smuggling.

Portuguese police seized 21 speedboats in numerous levels of development, whereas Spanish police made 72 arrests in Spain, an announcement mentioned.

Also Thursday, police in southern Spain mentioned they broke up a drug-smuggling ring and seized 1.2 metric tons (1.3 brief tons) of cannabis hidden in a manufacturing unit warehouse.

Portugal seizes tons of cocaine hidden in banana shipments.
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