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Shock As Liquid Cocaine Discovered In 20,000 Coconuts

by : Hannah Smith on :
Shock As Liquid Cocaine Discovered In 20,000 Coconuts
Shock As Liquid Cocaine Discovered In 20,000 Coconuts (Colombia National Prosecutor's Office)

Colombian officials have made a surprise discovery after shipment of almost 20,000 coconuts was discovered to be filled with cocaine.

The cargo, which was bound for Genoa in Italy, was uncovered by the anti-drug unit of Colombia's national prosecutor, who alongside a special police unit from the National Police's Anti-Narcotics Directorate located the coconuts hidden in a shipping container due to be loaded on a vessel in the port of Cartagena.

The 19,780 coconuts, which were packed into 500 canvas bags, may have looked ordinary enough from the outside, but had in fact had the water inside the fruit drained and replaced with liquid cocaine, the national prosecutor's office said in a statement confirming the seizure on Thursday, January 27.

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Coconuts (Alamy)
Coconuts (Alamy)

'Upon inspection, it was established that the water in the tropical fruit had been exchanged for liquid cocaine. With that in mind, the coconuts were transferred to a specialized laboratory to establish the exact amount of drug,' the statement read.

It's not clear exactly how much of the class A drugs the cocaine-nuts contained. Investigators are currently working to ascertain their origin and are also working in tandem with Italian authorities to determine to whom they were intended to be shipped.

Dissolving cocaine into water in order to make it easier to smuggle is a common method employed by drug traffickers, and, while rare, it's not the first time drug smugglers have been caught trying to use strange fruits to get around customs officials, VICE reports.

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In 2017, a shipment of coconuts was found to contain around 50kg of liquid cocaine, with the smugglers reported to have only placed one 'doctored' coconut in each box of the fruit along with fresh coconuts and bananas in an attempt to avoid arousing suspicion.

Fresh coconuts (Alamy)
Fresh coconuts (Alamy)

The plan was foiled however, after airport scanners revealed an 'unusual density' in some of the coconuts, leading to the arrest of one Venezuelan woman and two Colombians, ThinkSpain reported at the time.

Meanwhile, in even more bizarre circumstances, a year earlier a shipment of dragonfruit made its way from Colombia via London all the way to Hong Kong before being revealed to have been injected with diluted cocaine. In that case, the smugglers had drained the coconuts of water before sealing them back up with glue.

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Hannah Smith

Hannah is a London-based journalist covering news and features for UNILAD. She's especially interested in social and political activism and culture.

Topics: News, Drugs