Cocaine found in Berlin banana boxes

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Cocaine found in Berlin banana boxes

Aldi supermarket employees in seven Berlin stores were given an unusual surprise on Monday when they found cocaine hidden in boxes of bananas, with a total street value claimed to be in the order of €6 million (US$8.17 million). Flickr - Berlin Polzei - Conner395

The 140kg (309lbs) of cocaine were reported by staff to police, who said the accidental bust was second largest of its kind in 35 years.

Website reported the initial find was by Aldi workers in Reinickendorf at 8am, with more parcels then found in stores in Köpenick, Rahnsdorf, Wilmersdorf and Velten.

Police traced the bananas to a container from Colombia that held 1,150 crates of the fruit, which were sent to a wholesale fruit and vegetable market on Beussel Street in the city's Moabit area before shipment to individual retail branches.

"We think that it was intended for export as 140 kilos in one go is too much for the Berlin market," a state criminal office investigator told newspaper BZ.

A police statement praised the Aldi staff's "prudent and extremely cooperative behavior".

The latest bust is just shy of the 145kg (320lbs) of cocaine hidden in an Ecuador banana shipment that was found by Norwegian customs officials in December.

Photo: Flickr Creative Commons, Conner395


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