Malta, blocks of cocaine worth 100,6 mln seized by customs officials
VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – Maltese customs officials have found 610 packets of cocaine weighing 1 kilogram each with an estimated value of 100.6 million. The consignment have been found in a banana shipment on Sunday.
The container was selected by the Customs Monitoring Unit following meticulous risk assessment on containers transiting through the Malta Freeport.
The unit was scanned along with a number of other containers when officers flagged discrepancies in the image of that particular unit.
The Police Drug Squad inspected 20 boxes of bananas containing 20 packets of cocaine each whilst another ten boxes were found to contain 21 packets each.
So far this year, the Maltese Customs have seized 800 kilograms, 1,494 kilograms and 610 kilograms of cocaine in three separate operations.
Over the past three years, the Maltese Customs have seized 750 kilograms of cocaine in 13 separate seizures in 2019, 612 kilograms of cocaine in an operation in 2020, and 740 kilograms in an operation in 2021.
According to a statement by the Maltese Customs, the banana shipment had left Guayaquil in Ecuador and was en-route to Batumi, Georgia. Guayaquil, Ecuador’s second largest city and its main port, has become a hub for drug traffickers exporting tons of cocaine to Europe and the United States.
But amid increasing police checks and seizures, criminal gangs are getting creative by hiding tons of the drug inside food containers, cereal boxes, scrap metal, tea bottles and even in fake fruit like bananas and pineapples.
So far in 2022, Ecuadorian anti-narcotics police have seized 112 tons of drugs across the country, half of which were seized in Guayaquil – where over 85% of Ecuador’s non-oil export cargo is moved.
– photo Dogana Malta –