Colombian national prosecutor's office
A huge shipment of 20,000 coconuts filled with liquid cocaine has been discovered at a Colombian port en route to Italy.
An anti-drug unit of the Colombian national prosecutor's office working with a special police team found the coconuts hidden in 500 canvas bags on a container due to leave the Caribbean port of Cartagena for Genoa on Italy’s northwest coast.
“Upon inspection, it was established that the water in the tropical fruit had been exchanged for liquid cocaine,” noted the Colombian national prosecutor's office in a press release issued Thursday.
The authorities have sent the coconuts to a laboratory to establish the exact amount of cocaine they contain. They are also investigating exactly where the coconuts were loaded and who was due to receive them in Genoa.
Dissolving cocaine into water to disguise its appearance is a common way of smuggling the drug, although swapping the water in coconuts for diluted cocaine is rare.
Investigators at Madrid airport found in 2017 that a shipment of fresh coconuts had been injected with a total of 60 grams of liquid cocaine.
The scam was spotted after airport scanners showed unusual density inside some of the coconuts. A small hole had been bored into the coconuts and their water had been extracted with a syringe and replaced with liquid cocaine, before being resealed with brown resin.
In 2016 a shipment of yellow dragonfruit injected with liquid cocaine was seized in Hong Kong. The fruit, from Colombia via London, had been hollowed out, filled with the cocaine liquid, before being sealed with glue.