Ecuador sniffs out pineapple cocaine traffickers -

Ecuador sniffs out pineapple cocaine traffickers

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Ecuador sniffs out pineapple cocaine traffickers

Ecuador's anti-narcotics police have found 1.31 metric tons (MT) of cocaine hidden in pineapple and banana shipments that would have been bound for ports in Portugal and Spain, newspaper Diario El Telégrafo reported.

The majority of the cocaine was found in cylindrical packages inside pineapples that had been waxed over to keep shape, with the drugs weighing 1MT in a container that was bound for Portugal, the story reported.

Website El Universo reported the pineapple shipment was bound for the Belgian port of Antwerp. In another container police found 310kg of the drug hidden in banana containers destined for Spain.

National Anti-Narcotics Chief Edmundo Mera told the website the pineapple container belonged to exporter Elaminvest, while the discovery was made by anti-drug dog Tenoch.

The containers were found in the Seaport of Guayaquil with four suspects arrested, including Elaminvest general manager Julio Omar Cedeño Jijón, the story reported.

Mera highlighted 1kg of cocaine could sell for up to US$60,000 in Europe, which means the discovered drugs could have been worth up to US$78.6 million.

He told El Universo the cocaine had entered from Colombia and could have been linked to a similar incident in 2009.

Elaminvest exports both seafood and agricultural products, including mangoes and cassava, according to the company's website.

Related story: British suspect caught in Costa Rica pineapple cocaine bust

Ecuador could nationalize banana exports



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