Workers find 370kg of smuggled cocaine worth €50m in French Coca-Cola factory

Police in Marseille are determined to find out who sent the container from Costa Rica

Jacob Furedi
Thursday 01 September 2016 10:14 BST
370kg represents one of the largest drug hauls in mainland France
370kg represents one of the largest drug hauls in mainland France (Var-Matin)

Workers at a Coca-Cola factory in Signes, southern France, have found 370kg of cocaine in a shipping container.

The drugs have a market value of around €50 million, according to prosecutor Xavier Tarabeux.

The stash, found on Thursday, was concealed among orange juice concentrate in a container shipped from Costa Rica.

In March, 370kg of cocaine was also found in a shipping container in the port of Le Havre.

In a seizure off the coast of Martinique last year, French customs officers uncovered a national record of 2.2 tonnes of cocaine from a sailboat.

The discovery in Signes, however, represents one of the largest drug hauls in mainland France.

The Coca-Cola factory in Signes produces concentrates for the company’s various drinks.

When Coca-Cola was first created in 1886, the recipe included small amounts coca leaf from Peru, which contained cocaine. The quantity of coca was reduced in 1903, and it was finally removed in 1928.

Police are yet to arrest anyone in connection with the cocaine shipment, but judicial police in Marseilles have launched an investigation to determine who sent the shipment.

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