MOSCOW, August 7 (RIA Novosti) – Russian cocaine pushers have gone bananas, or so it seems.
Some 120 kg of cocaine (265 pounds) was hidden in boxes of bananas that arrived in Russia’s westernmost port of Kaliningrad, the Federal Customs Service (FTS) said Wednesday.
This is the third massive stash of the drug to be intercepted in less than two weeks in boxes of the tropical fruit shipped from Ecuador.
The latest haul of cocaine – packaged in 110 bags – was discovered on the Nedlloyd Julliana ship that arrived at the port from Ecuador on Saturday, the FTS said in a statement.
Last Wednesday, almost 140 kg (310 pounds) of cocaine was found aboard an Ecuadorian ship that had docked in St. Petersburg, Russia’s second largest city, the FTS said.
On July 26, Moscow police said that they had found 120 kg of cocaine in a banana shipment from Ecuador. Each of the boxes in which cocaine was hidden also contained a prayer sheet addressed to the prophet Jonah to protect the cargo, they said.
In Russia, cocaine remains an expensive illegal drug that costs about $150 per gram, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.