Second cocaine haul points to cartel activity

Second cocaine haul points to cartel activity

The discovery of 654 kilograms of cocaine worth an estimated 200 million euros in a banana shipment from Ecuador on April 29 was the second big seizure of its kind this year and seems to back intelligence indicating that Latin American cartels are using Greece as a gateway for their drugs – with local help.

The shipment was intercepted at the port of Calabria on its way to Thessaloniki, though sources say the Italian inspection was not connected to a Greek-American operation unfolding at the Piraeus cargo terminal at the same time.

There, a joint team of drug enforcement agents had spent more than two weeks examining dozens of containers destined for Piraeus and Thessaloniki. Earlier in the year, authorities in Thessaloniki had seized 100 kilos of cocaine in a similarly packed shipment of bananas from Ecuador destined for a company in northern Greece.

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