German police found nearly a half-ton of cocaine hidden in bananas

Germany cocaine drug bust bananasCologne Police DepartmentAuthorities in western Germany uncovered more than 800 pounds of cocaine hidden in a shipment of bananas, April 2017.

German police say they intercepted 847 pounds of what they believe is cocaine in a shipment of bananas over the weekend.

A worker at a wholesale company in Leverkusen, just north of Cologne in western Germany, reported the suspected drugs to authorities on Saturday, according to the Associated Press.

Police found the drugs stored in hundreds of 1 kilogram packets hidden inside 26 cases of bananas that had arrived from Ecuador via the German port city of Hamburg.

Police also found a GPS transmitter in one of the cases, which they believed would be used to locate the shipment once it was inside a large warehouse.

While the value of the 384 kilogram shipment was not immediately known, in Europe, where drug prices can vary widely between countries, a gram of cocaine and cost anywhere between 46 and 91 euros.

This seizure is only the latest cocaine shipment intercepted in mainland Europe, and it is not the first to use bananas for concealment.

Germany cocaine drug bustCologne Police DepartmentAuthorities in western Germany intercepted more than 800 pounds of cocaine hidden in a shipment of bananas, April 2017.

Two incidents in Spain late last year yielded more than 2,000 pounds of cocaine from shipments of bananas, both real and fake. And two incidents at Aldi food stores in Germany in 2014 and 2015 turned up more than 1,100 pounds of the drug.

Ecuador, which doesn’t actually produce cocaine, has become a major transit hub for the drug in recent years, patronized by smugglers who rely on commercial shipments of foodstuffs to conceal their wares.

NOW WATCH: Here’s what $US1 billion worth of cocaine looks like

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.