18:59 GMT +317 October 2019
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    Spanish and Portuguese police seize over 700 kilos of cocaine hidden in pineapples

    Spanish, Portuguese Police Seize Over 700 Kilos of Cocaine Hidden in Pineapples

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    On Wednesday, police in Portugal and Spain announced that they seized 745 kilograms of cocaine that were disguised as fresh pineapples.

    The joint investigation, which began in April 2017, also saw the dismantling of two laboratories and arrest of nine members belonging to a drug trafficking ring, two of whom were Colombian brothers that led the operation. Investigators also confiscated $489,000 in cash.

    ​In a statement released by the Spanish Interior Ministry, officials indicated that traffickers packed the kilos of narcotics in a cylindrical manner and then covered the package in yellow wax to smuggle the drugs. Once the wax hardened, tricksters then used pineapple skins to complete the facade.

    According to police officials, those arrested would acquire the drug in Barcelona and later store it inside secured housing in Terrassa. From there, the cocaine was transported to Madrid to be processed and distributed. Traffickers would pick up the cocaine from Terrassa every 15-20 days.

    Though most of the drug handling took place in Spain, officials in Portugal became involved in the investigation after it was discovered that the cocaine-infused pineapples were being shipped to Lisbon before arriving in Spain.

    "This organized international group had repeatedly brought large quantities of cocaine to the European continent," Portuguese investigators said in a statement.

    Officials noted that after spending an estimated seven months on the investigation, they were tipped off to the pineapple scheme after a previous seizure of roughly 400 kilos of cocaine led them to an import company that ships fruit from Panama to Portugal.

    Euro News reported that the Iberian Peninsula is known as a major entry point for cocaine and other drugs into Europe. Drug shipments either come in directly from South America or make their way through North and West Africa.

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    drug trafficking, cocaine, Spain, Portugal
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