Dominican anti-narcotics agents have seized more than two tonnes of cocaine stashed in a shipment of bananas en route from Ecuador to the Netherlands, authorities reported Saturday.
"During an operation at the Caucedo terminal, which lasted just over 10 hours, the authorities confiscated 2,188 packages, presumably cocaine," said a spokesman for the National Directorate for Drug Control of the Dominican Republic (DNCDRD). Each package weighed about one kilogram (2.2 pounds).
It is considered the largest seizure ever in the Caribbean nation, where more than five tonnes of drugs have been seized so far in 2023.
The seizure was achieved through a "joint operation" based on intelligence work at the Caucedo terminal in Boca Chica, a town in Santo Domingo province, about 15 miles (25 kilometers) from the Dominican capital.
"In the presence of a prosecutor, a refrigerator-type container was opened, consigned with a load of bananas, where hundreds of cardboard boxes were found" containing cocaine, the DNCDRD said in a press release.
The container had come from Ecuador and had "Rotterdam, the Netherlands" as its final destination, the spokesman added.
Smuggling illicit drugs in fruit shipments is not uncommon. Norwegian police on March 30 reported the seizure of some 800 kilos of cocaine in Oslo, hidden in a shipment of bananas.