140 kilograms of cocaine found in Coop banana boxes

That’s what it’s all  about

• Around 140 kilograms of cocaine were found in banana boxes in several Coop branches in Switzerland.

• According to an expert, the dealers made a mistake: The cocaine should have been taken out of the boxes shortly after arriving in Europe.

• It is completely normal for cocaine to be shipped with common goods such as coffee or bananas.

• Overall, experts assume that around 3.5 to 4 tons of pure cocaine is consumed in Switzerland each year. Frank Zobel, how do 140 kilograms of cocaine get into Coop branches in Switzerland

Cocaine is mainly produced in Colombia, Bolivia, and Peru.

In the large ports in Brazil and Venezuela, the drug cartels bribe port workers who ship the coke in shipping containers to Europe, for example to Antwerp, Rotterdam, or Hamburg. There, in turn, bribed port employees to receive it. The cocaine is resold and reaches the whole of Europe from the port cities. It is known that the drugs are shipped with goods such as bananas. The owners of the containers do not normally know that drugs are smuggled into their containers. However, the cocaine should never have reached the Coop branches. Apparently, the dealers were prevented from getting it out of the banana boxes in time. It is conceivable that the cocaine was not intended for the Swiss market at all, what could be the reason why the coke ended up here anyway?

These drugs are valued at several million Swiss francs, so there must be a valid reason that the dealers did not take the cocaine out of the box. It is possible that the drug dealers could not cross certain national borders due to the corona measures and therefore could not get the drugs in time. The freighters are on the road for several weeks, which makes planning difficult.

Does it happen more often that drug dealers cannot get their substance?

Such safeguards exist every few years. Large quantities of cocaine have also been seized in Germany and Basel. If you consider that between 3.5 and 4 tons of pure cocaine is used on the Swiss cocaine market each year, the 140 kilograms are not particularly important.

How does cocaine usually get to Switzerland from the major European ports?

After the cocaine arrives safely in Europe, it is sold. After that, there are different ways how it can get to Switzerland. It is often couriers who bring the drug here in small quantities, i.e. one to two kilograms, overland or by plane. The cocaine is then distributed to various negotiators.

Why is cocaine no longer confiscated?

In the large ports like Rotterdam, several containers are processed every second. It is simply impossible to control them all. As soon as a delivery arrives, the cocaine is usually taken out of the containers and they are given new seals. Then the cocaine is distributed further by land, in trucks or cars. From the moment cocaine reaches Europe safely, it is difficult for the authorities to find and seize it


Consumption is increasing steadily

The coke consumption has been increasing slightly for years, says expert Zobel: «Cocaine is in, the drug hits the zeitgeist, and there is a wide range. This trend can also be seen in Switzerland. In a European comparison, Switzerland is at the top of the list, but more is consumed in countries such as Spain or France. Wastewater studies have recently shown that a lot is consumed, especially in large Swiss cities.

Do you have a drug problem? Sucht Switzerland’s free hotline offers help on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday between 9 a.m. and 12 noon on 0800 104 104

Daniel Graf-20 min.– Author.

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