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Spanish interior minister confirms record amount of cocaine seized in single shipment

Staff Writer |
Spanish Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido confirmed Wednesday that Spanish authorities have found a shipment of nearly 9 tons of cocaine, the largest ever cache of drugs seized in a single container in Europe.

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The Spanish National Police and Spanish Customs Authorities discovered the 8,740 kg of cocaine in the southwestern port of Algeciras. The drugs were hidden inside 1,080 boxes of bananas imported from Colombia.

Determined to fight drug trafficking, Zoido vowed Wednesday "to keep drugs out of the streets," according to media reports.

Although the 9-ton case of drugs was discovered as early as Sunday, the container with the cocaine inside was allowed to continue its journey to an industrial estate in Malaga, where agents finally intervened and arrested six people.

The amount of cocaine found on Wednesday in a single shipment is more than half of the 15,629 kg seized in 2016, most of which came from Colombia.

The seizure once again highlights the need for international cooperation in the fight against drug smuggling. It also coincides with the First Interpol World Congress on Drugs which opened Tuesday in the central Spanish city of Toledo.

Local media reported on Wednesday that over 20 people suspected of drug trafficking were arrested on the island of Mallorca, in a separate anti-drug operation involving some 400 law enforcement personnel.

The raid was part of a larger campaign launched in March that had dismantled 30 drug dealing sites.

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