(c) Peter Hilz/ Hollandse Hoogte

1.5 tons of coke found piggybacking on bananas

1.5 tons of cocaine have been intercepted in the Port of Antwerp.  The find was made last Friday but police kept the discovery quiet to allow them to follow the transport.  The drugs were hidden among a load of bananas.

If anybody had been in any doubt, the recent grenade attacks in Antwerp attributed to drug traffickers have shown that Antwerp is an international hub in the drug trade.  The drugs intercepted last week are worth 44 million euros on the street.

Police followed the shipment and identified 14 suspects in the Dutch province of Zeeland.  Members of an arrest team raided the premises of the business where the banana transport finally needed up.  14 people were detained.  Suspects hail from the Netherlands, Bulgaria and Dubai.

On paper the business was a fruit wholesaler but it really served as a cover for the cocaine trade.  Bananas and pineapples are often used to hide drugs because they have to be transported quickly. Otherwise the fruit goes off. Police believe the drugs are trafficked from Antwerp via Flushing to Rotterdam.  

Dutch police have just launched Operation Piggyback intended to uncover drug dealers.  The business where the cocaine was found was on their list, but thanks to Belgian police it was dismantled even more swiftly.