Ecuadorian police have seized around 8.8 tonnes of cocaine that were stashed in a container of bananas bound for Belgium, the police of the port city of Guayaquil announced on Sunday.
“It is a record seizure for 2023 of more than eight tons of cocaine,” police commander General Fausto Salinas wrote on his Twitter account.
“We prevented (the international sale of) 90 million doses, worth $330 million in Europe,” he estimated, releasing a video showing police searching the container.
Located between Colombia and Peru – the world’s top cocaine producers – Ecuador seized a record amount of the drug in 2021: about 210 tonnes bound for European ports.
In 2022, seizures exceeded 200 tonnes – 61% of which was hidden among bananas destined for export. Since the start of 2023, confiscations have totalled 31 tonnes.
Last year, Belgian customs intercepted roughly 110 tonnes of cocaine in the Port of Antwerp, a new record, which was the first time the 100-tonne mark has been passed.