More than 50,700 pounds of cocaine have been seized by German and Belgian authorities during the operation, which spanned over one week, according to CNN.
The bust is also being hailed as one of the biggest single seizures on Earth.
The cargo was addressed to an age 28 Dutchman who authorities took into custody on Wednesday, Dutch officials said.
Following a tip from Dutch colleagues, customs officers in Hamburg discovered 35,658 pounds of the white powder hidden inside more than 1,700 cans of construction putty, according to German Customs Investigation head Rene Matschke.
The officers discovered the drugs on February 12 inside three containers supposedly only filled with the putty. Matschke noted that separating the sticky substance from the bricks of cocaine was “pretty disgusting.”
Dutch authorities then began investigating the recipient of the cargo and found 11 containers heading to Antwerp from Panama. These containers were supposedly filled with mackerel, pineapple, squid, and wood.
On Saturday, authorities in Belgium found another 15,873 pounds of cocaine within the container transporting wood, police in the Netherlands stated.
“Never before has so much cocaine been intercepted at once,” the Dutch police mentioned in a press release.
State Secretary in Germany’s Federal Ministry of Finance, Rolf Bösinger said “With this blow against organized narcotics crime — also thanks to the exemplary cooperation with European partner authorities — German Customs has once again impressively demonstrated its clout.”
Kyle James Lee – The AEGIS Alliance – This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.