Bungling drug lords ship £68m of cocaine to supermarkets by mistake

Police seized over 907kg of cocaine with a street value around £68 million after bungling drug lords mistakenly delivered the haul to supermarkets in the Czech Republic hidden in banana shipments.

Supermarket workers in the capital city of Prague and the towns of Jicin and Rychnov nad Kneznou first reported the suspicious blocks.

The 2,200-pound haul of cocaine, apparently originating from Colombia, arrived via Europe's second largest port Hamburg.

"Supermarket workers found moulded cocaine cubes in boxes with bananas this afternoon," the police said on Twitter, accompanied by pictures of some of the loot.

Jakub Frydrych, the head of the police anti-narcotics unit, told the Czech public radio the cocaine likely originated in Central America.

"Criminal investigators found that goods of the same batch were distributed to several other places in the Czech Republic,” Czech police said in a statement.

"Therefore, in cooperation with the [Customs Administration of the Czech Republic] and other entities, it is currently conducting inspections of these places and other actions."

They added that they were now set to work with international authorities to further their investigation.

They said: "Information about consignments is kept outside the territory of the Czech Republic. For this reason we will use the institute of international police and judicial cooperation.

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"The case was taken over by the National Drug Control Centre, which will conduct the investigation. We will provide more information as soon as possible."

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said in its latest report, released in 2021, that "Cocaine manufacture reached record levels in 2019, despite growth losing momentum.

"The output of global cocaine manufacture doubled between 2014 and 2019 to reach an estimated 1,784 tons (expressed at 100 percent purity) in 2019, the highest level ever recorded."

The UNODC added: "In 2019, Colombia continued to account for the vast majority of the global area under coca bush cultivation."

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