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File image of the Port of Malaga. SUR
The Malaga connection: stash of cocaine worth 175 million found hidden in shipment of bananas

The Malaga connection: stash of cocaine worth 175 million found hidden in shipment of bananas

Around 5,000 kilos of the drug entered Spain from South America, concealed in a shipping container

Juan Cano

Malaga

Tuesday, 27 June 2023, 10:15

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Police have busted an Albanian criminal organisation that tried to smuggle 175-million-euros worth of cocaine into Europe hidden in a shipment of bananas.

The cargo first arrived into the Port of Malaga, before being transported to Alicante when it was seized by officers from the Udyco National Police unit against drugs and organised crime.

Five people have been arrested, four of them of Albanian origin and one Spanish after agents raided a warehouse on an industrial estate in Alicante and found 5,000 kilos of cocaine stashed among a shipment of bananas. The amount of drugs would have reached a value of 175 million euros on the black market.

CNP

Investigators said that the shipment had arrived in Spain on a merchant ship from South America and had been unloaded in the Port of Malaga. From there, the stash was transported by road to Alicante, from where it was to be distributed throughout Europe.

The operation not only points to the crucial role of the Port of Malaga on the drugs map - although police pressure has so far prevented traffickers from establishing a permanent route - but also the warning message given on Monday 26 June by the Anti-Drugs Prosecutor's Office, that most of the drugs circulating in Spain are moved from Malaga.

"Most of the major drug trafficking organisations are currently based here and, therefore, most of the drugs that pass through Spain are coordinated from here," said anti-drugs prosecutor in Malaga, Fernando Bentabol.

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