A shipment of nearly 20,000 coconuts filled with liquid cocaine heading through Columbia have been discovered and seized.
Officials said that 504 canvas bags contained around 19,780 coconuts, all of which had been replaced with the drug in place of coconut water.
An investigation was held through Columbia’s National Police’s Anti-Narcotics Directorate against drug trafficking, VICE reports.
The shipment was thought to be moving from Columbia to Genoa, Italy, before it was seized at the Caribbean port of Cartagena in the North of the South American country.
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“Upon inspection, it was established that the water in the tropical fruit had been exchanged for liquid cocaine,” said the Colombian national prosecutor's office in a Spanish-penned press release released Thursday.
The coconuts have been sent to a laboratory for further inspection where scientists will assess how much cocaine each coconut contains.
Officials are now investigating where the coconuts were heading to, and who was supposed to receive the shipment in Genoa. They will also investigate where the shipment was created and loaded.
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Although this drug trafficking method is unusual, it’s become more common over the years as dealers can dissolve the drug into water, which then usually goes undetected. In 2017, a similar shipment of coconuts containing the drug was found at an airport in Madrid.
VICE also reported that authorities found the tropical fruit which had been injected with 60 grams of cocaine attempting to leave the airport.
Just a year later, a similar shipment where the drug was stashed inside pineapples - this time over 65kg - was found at a food market also in Madrid.
Another similar shipment was discovered at Gatwick Airport in 2020 where £4 million worth of cocaine was hidden in vegetables and different liquids.
Gemma Ross is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow her on Twitter