Strange fruit: Dutch police discover half-ton of cocaine stashed in plastic pineapples

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Fake fruit conceals cocaine cargo in Netherlands

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — First it was drugs among the flowers. Now, drug traffickers have stuffed real drugs into fake fruit in an effort to smuggle cocaine into the Netherlands, authorities said Wednesday.

On Monday, police uncovered euro25 million ($34 million) worth of cocaine hidden plastic pineapples that were scattered among a shipment of real fruit, prosecutors said.

The half-ton haul was intercepted when fruit packers unloading a consignment of pineapples saw some strange-looking fruit in the containers, said spokeswoman Marianne Goet.

While Dutch police tolerate soft drug use, they crack down on trafficking in hard drugs like cocaine and heroin.

There were no immediate arrests following the discovery.

Goet declined to reveal the country from which the bogus pineapples were sent, saying that could compromise the investigation.

Last month customs officials intercepted four kilograms (9 pounds) of cocaine hidden among 20,000 long-stem roses flown to the Netherlands from Colombia in time for Valentine’s Day. Another five kilograms (11 pounds) of highly purified cocaine was found among rose boxes in the homes of two Dutch suspects, who were arrested, the National Prosecutor’s office said.

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