Someone Tried to Ship 50 Bricks of Swastika-Branded Cocaine to Europe

Police in Peru seized the Nazi-branded cocaine, some of which also bore the word "HITLER."
Cocaine labeled with Nazi imagery was seized in the port city of Paita. (Photo via Peru National Police account on Twitter).

Police in Peru just seized over 57 kilos of cocaine labeled with Nazi swastikas destined for Europe, authorities said. Some of the cocaine, packaged in 50 bricks, were stamped with the word “HITLER” in capital letters, referencing the last name of former head of the Nazi party Adolf Hitler.

The drugs were discovered by members of Peru’s National Police Anti Drugs unit in Paita, a port city on the northwest coast area of the country close to the border with Ecuador. They were found in a container en route to Belgium, police said.


Authorities did not announce who was responsible for labeling and stamping the cocaine, nor if there were any arrests.

Drug traffickers around the world have taken to labeling their packages with strange logos over the years, usually as a way to distinguish the quality or destination of their product. In November, police in Uruguay seized 444 kilograms of cocaine stamped with the YouTube logo. Mexican authorities busted 1.6 tons of cocaine in July 2022 with packages bearing logos from both alternative energy automotive company Tesla, and the fashion brand Prada.

Peru is considered the world’s second-largest producer of cocaine, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and a major exporter to both Europe and North America, but it’s unclear if the drugs were locally produced. The cocaine was allegedly found hidden in the ventilation system of a container filled with asparagus on a Liberian-flagged ship, according to a police report cited by the Associated Press. The ship previously docked in the Ecuadorian port city of Guayaquil—a major transshipment hub for drugs and ground zero of a brutal war between rival drug cartels.

Nazi imagery and far right ideology remain popular in certain portions of South America. In April 2022, Peru’s then-Prime Minister Aníbal Torres provoked a major backlash after referring to Adolf Hitler as a model in infrastructure development during a cabinet session. Another Peruvian politician named Hitler Alba Sanchez went viral in 2018 after calling himself the “good Hitler” on the campaign trail.

In February, a teenager was arrested in Brazil after he attacked a school with homemade explosives while wearing Nazi imagery. Police cadets in Colombia made international headlines in November 2021 after dressing as Nazis during a ceremony to honor Germany.