Spanish and Portuguese Police Find Cocaine in Pineapples

Published: 19 January 2018

Screenshot from 2018-01-19 14-54-22

Screenshot of seized pineapples (Policia Nacional, Youtube)

By Katarina Sabados

Spanish authorities arrested nine suspected members of a drug ring and seized 1,600 pounds of cocaine Thursday, which the Colombian gang had hidden in carved out pineapple skins in a shipment heading to Madrid.   

According to the BBC, the Spanish and Portuguese authorities had been collaborating on an investigation since April 2017. The sting operation began when a cargo shipment arrived in the port of Lisbon from Panama. The cocaine was covered in yellow wax and then covered with previously-hollowed pineapple skins.

The gang ran drug labs on the outskirts of Madrid, and a storage spot in Barcelona. The authorities also seized two hydraulic presses, three packaging machines, and €400,000 (US$490,000).

The Iberian Peninsula is a major entry point for drugs and unrefined drug material coming into Europe from South and Central America. The Portuguese authorities believe that “this organized international group had repeatedly brought large quantities of cocaine to the European continent.”

This bizarre shipping method has been used before by drug smugglers. Authorities in Belgium and Holland seized over 14 tons of cocaine last year in banana shipments. Similar discoveries were made in Germany, Spain, Ecuador, and Costa Rica.