Montenegro's biggest cocaine seizure hidden under bananas

Former Yugoslav republic sits on route to lucrative markets in western Europe

“The cocaine was found ... in a special compartment under the floor of a shipping container loaded with bananas,” Vladan Jokovic, the head of Montenegro’s Customs Authority, said.

“The cocaine was found ... in a special compartment under the floor of a shipping container loaded with bananas,” Vladan Jokovic, the head of Montenegro’s Customs Authority, said.

 

Customs officers in Montenegro have seized 250kg of cocaine smuggled beneath a shipment of bananas, authorities said today, in what was described as the biggest drugs haul ever in the Adriatic republic.

Vladan Jokovic, the head of Montenegro’s Customs Authority, said the cocaine was worth about €12.5 million and was seized yesterday in the southern port of Bar - a well known transit route for South American drugs heading to Europe.

The ship was carrying bananas from Ecuador to Montenegro’s neighbour, Albania. Montenegro, a former Yugoslav republic of some 680,000 people, sits on a well-trodden route for drug smugglers trying to reach lucrative markets in western Europe.

“The cocaine was found ... in a special compartment under the floor of a shipping container loaded with bananas,” Mr Jokovic told reporters, saying it was the biggest ever drugs haul in the country. He gave no further details.

Montenegro is under pressure from the West to crack down on smuggling as it negotiates to join the EU in the next decade. The trade has been aided by deep-rooted corruption.

Reuters