Spanish police find cocaine hidden in roses and sweets

1st February 2011, Comments 0 comments

Spanish police said Tuesday they had seized 76 kilos of cocaine smuggled into the country from Latin American hidden in a shipment of roses and inside sweets in two separate operations.

Police found 71 kilos (156 pounds) of cocaine hidden in 60 boxes of roses that arrived at the cargo terminal of Madrid airport, Spain's busiest, from Colombia and detained seven people as part of the operation.

The suspects are thought to belong to a drug-trafficking group that in 2009 made a failed bid to smuggle 800 kilos of cocaine into Spain from Colombia hidden in polypropylene.

That drug shipment was seized in the Latin American country from a truck that was transporting it to the Colombian port of Buenaventura where it was to be put on a ship bond for the Spanish port of Valencia.

In another operation at Barcelona airport, police seized five kilos of cocaine that was hidden inside "alfajores", a traditional confection found in some regions of Spain and Latin America, and detained a 50-year-old Bolivian.

Spain's close ties with its former colonies in South America, a major cocaine producing region, have made it Europe's main entry point for the drug.

Earlier this month Spanish police seized 162 kilos of cocaine hidden inside fake plastic bananas that had been concealed in a 20-tonne shipment of real bananas from Ecuador.

© 2011 AFP

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