Record Nine Tons of Cocaine Seized from Container at Port of Algeciras

MV Lucie Schulte file photo.

Spanish authorities seized nearly nine tons of cocaine found in a container on board a ship at the port of Algeciras.

So far five people have been arrested in connection to the shipment. 

Officials with Spain’s Customs Department said investigators seized a total of 8,740 kilograms of the drug discovered hidden in a container of bananas from Colombia on the containership Lucie Schulte.

The seizure is the largest single seizure of cocaine ever made in Spain as well as the largest in Europe where the drugs were smuggled in a shipping container, Spain’s Customs Department said.

Working on a tip, agents with Spain’s Customs and Tax Agency and National Police carried out a raid of the ship on Sunday, April 22, after it had docked at the port of Algeciras.

The drugs were found inside a container among 1,080 boxes of bananas loaded at the Port of Turbo in Colombia.

Police tracked the containers to their destination at n industrial building in Malaga, Spain, where they arrested three people from the importing company. Two others were also arrested in France in connection with the shipment.

The Lucie Schulte has since been released and has continued on its voyage to the Mediterranean. The vessel is registered in Singapore and has a nominal TEU capacity of 2,572.