Spanish police said Monday they have seized 67 kilogrammes (148 pounds) of cocaine found inside dozens of hollowed-out pineapples at Madrid’s main wholesale fruit and vegetable market.
The drug-stuffed fruits were found at the sprawling Mercamadrid market among a shipment of pineapples that arrived in the Portuguese port of Setubal by ship from Costa Rica and was then transported overland to the Spanish capital, police said in a statement.
Each pineapple was “perfectly hallowed out and stuffed with compact cylinders” containing 800-1,000 grammes cocaine and was coated with wax or yellow paraffin to conceal the “odours of the chemical products which the drug contains and avoid its detection”, the statement said.
Police arrested seven people as part of the operation — three in Madrid and four in Barcelona — who are suspected of playing a role in the cocaine smuggling operation.
Spain, with its historic and linguistic links to South America, is the main entry point to Europe for cocaine from the continent, mostly from Colombia.
Smugglers often resort to creative methods to get drugs past Spanish customs.
In recent years, police have found cocaine inside breast implants, a wig, a wheelchair cushion, a plaster cast encasing a man’s broken leg as well as inside a 42-piece crockery set.