3 Aug 2020 11:37

Record shipment of over 56 kg of Ecuadorian cocaine found in banana container in Odesa region

KYIV. Aug 3 (Interfax) - Law enforcement agencies have found over 56 kilograms of cocaine in the Yuzhny seaport in the Odesa region.

"The drugs were found in a banana container from Ecuador. The cocaine packed in 47 briquettes was stashed in ventilation hatches. Each briquette carried the brand marking of letters and digits indicating its belonging to a particular drug syndicate," the Ukrainian State Border Guard Service said in a statement on Monday.

The approximate black market cost of 56.4 kilograms of cocaine may exceed 200 million hryvni.

A criminal case was opened under Article 305 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code, "Contraband of Narcotic and Psychotropic Substances, their Analogues, or Precursors, or Counterfeit Medications."

This is not the first seizure of large quantities of hard drugs in Ukraine this year. Border guards from the Odesa unit seized large batches of cocaine in the Yuzhny seaport in February and May 2020.

In the first case, over 30 kilograms of cocaine were found in a car container from Chile. Every package carried an image of the Monopoly game character.

In the other case, the drug was stashed in technical cavities of a banana container from Ecuador. The cocaine was packed in 45 briquettes. Every briquette had a lead coating to reduce the possibility of its detection by scanners and police dogs. The shipment's gross weight stood at 53.4 kilograms.