2022 – £68m of cocaine shipped with bananas to two supermarkets in the Czech Republic | drugs smuggling

Supermarket workers in the Czech Republic have found 840 kg of cocaine worth CZK 2 billion (£ 68 million) in crates of bananas delivered to the store.

It is believed that the consignment, which was sent to supermarkets in the cities of Gisyn and Rechnov nad Knysno in the northern region of the country, was accidentally sent to stores.

The standard amount of cocaine, which has a higher market value, arrived in shaped cocaine cubes on Friday.

The cocaine is believed to have come from Central America, Jacob Friedrich, head of the police’s anti-drug unit, said in a speech broadcast on Czech public radio. Police are now working on the case with colleagues in unspecified countries, while looking at other stores in the country that have received boxes of the same shipment.

Czech police posted photos of the seized cocaine on Twitter and said: “The information on the shipment leads out of the Czech Republic, so we will use international police and judicial cooperation.”

Shaped cocaine cubes are delivered to a supermarket in the Czech Republic. Photo: Czech police

In 2015, 100 kilograms of cocaine was discovered in a Czech supermarket in Prague, and in 1999 Czech police confiscated 117 kilograms of cocaine packed among dried fruits in a warehouse north of the city.

Italian police this week seized 4.3 tons of cocaine with a market value of nearly 250 million pounds (£214 million) in Trieste, in the northeastern region of Italy. The seizure, one of the largest in Europe, was the result of cooperation between the Italian financial police, anti-mafia investigators and the US Department of Homeland Security, and is believed to have dealt a severe blow to the notorious Gulf clan in Colombia, the country’s largest drug cartel. Dairo Antonio Osuga David, better known by the alias O’Tonnell, the alleged leader of the Gulf clan, was extradited from Colombia to the United States last month, where he faced charges in three federal courts.

After the extradition, Colombian President Ivan Duque said David was “the most dangerous drug dealer in the world”, likening him to the late head of the Medellin drug cartel, Pablo Escobar. David is believed to have been on the run for more than a decade after corrupting state officials.

In an English-language statement, anti-mafia investigators said the undercover operation “launched another powerful attack on one of Colombia’s major drug groups”.

Cash totaling 1.8 million euros and cars believed to have been used in smuggling were also seized.

International arrest warrants have been issued for 38 people in Bulgaria, Croatia, Colombia, Italy, the Netherlands and Slovenia, for drug smuggling.

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