Romania: Cocaine found in Colombian banana boxes

Border Crime

A man sells bananas near a quarantined banana plantation affected by a destructive fungus near Riohacha, Colombia, Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019. A disease that ravages banana crops has made its long-dreaded arrival in Latin America, reigniting worries about the global market’s dependence on a single type of banana, the Cavendish. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

BUCHAREST (AP) — Romanian authorities have confiscated 503 kilograms (1,109 pounds) of cocaine that was discovered in a fruit and vegetable warehouse near Bucharest, officials said Thursday.

The cocaine, which was hidden among 35 boxes of bananas in Chiajna, was seized on July 26 and has an estimated market value of around 25 million euros ($30 million), Romania’s anti-organized crime agency said.

“Following research, it was established that the respective amount of cocaine arrived on the territory of Romania, in a transport of approximately 20 tons of bananas, from Colombia, (and was) purchased from a European Union state,” the agency said in a statement.

A criminal investigation into the case will be launched, authorities said.

In 2019, Romanian authorities seized more than a ton of high-grade cocaine on a capsized boat in the Danube Delta in the eastern town of Sfantu Gheorghe, which had an estimated street value of 300 million euros ($338 million).

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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