18 August 2023






1 min

Dutch customs have recently made the largest ever drug bust in the Port of Rotterdam by seizing 8 tons of cocaine from a container aboard a Maersk containership in a container reefer of bananas. According to the Dutch Public Prosecution Service, the drugs represent an “enormous” street value of €600m ($653m).

The container with more than 8 tonnes of cocaine came from Ecuador and arrived in Rotterdam via Panama hidden in a consignment of bananas. When the bust was made last week, Dutch customs did not reveal the company or the ship on which the drugs were found. Maersk confirmed  that the cocaine was shipped to the Netherlands in one of its containers.

In total, 8,064 one-kilo packages of cocaine were found in 12 pallets of bananas. Customs officers found the packages during a check with drug detection dogs and a container scan. The case is under investigation and the drugs have been destroyed. This bust was nearly twice the size of the 4.6 tons of cocaine found in 2005 and much larger than the current Dutch record seizure of 3.8 tons of cocaine in 2021. In the first six months of this year, the Netherlands seized 29.7 tons of cocaine.

Timeline image supplied by Openbaar Ministerie, Netherlands Public Prosecution Service

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