Dutch customs on Wednesday 29 December discovered some 1.6 tonnes of cocaine in the port of Rotterdam. The drugs were concealed in shipments from South America.
Part of the load was hidden in a shipment of bananas from Ecuador, according to prosecutors in charge of the case. Another part, always from the same country, was mixed with cocoa beans.
This container had passed through Colombia, another stronghold of cocaine production, before arriving in Antwerp, Belgium, the last stop before entering Rotterdam, the largest port in Europe.
The last load represented five sports bags buried in a shipment of cement, expected in Portugal.
This year several major seizures took place in the port of Rotterdam. Last October, customs had already got hold of a shipment of more than 4 tonnes of cocaine.
In a report released in September, Europol announced that cocaine had become the second most popular drug in Western and Central Europe by some 4.4 million consumers in one year.
The agency warned the Netherlands and Belgium that “are becoming major hubs for trafficking cocaine from Colombia”.