Over two tonnes of cocaine have been seized in Genoa, Italy, in the biggest operation of its kind in the country for 25 years.
Sixty bags of the drug were found in a container that had come from Colombia by boat and was headed to Barcelona in Spain. There it would have been dispersed in Barcelona’s drug-trafficking rings and sold in Europe.
The sting saw collaboration between authorities in Colombia, Italy, the UK and Spain — 1,801 bricks of pure cocaine weighing 2,100kg were seized, worth €500 million.
It was the largest registered seizure of narcotics in Italy in 25 years.
Authorities said the drugs belonged to various organisations of drug traffickers linked to the armed group known as the “Gulf Clan" — a Colombian drug cartel.
Meanwhile, in another operation on January 15, 650kg of cocaine worth €130 million was seized at the Port of Livorno in northwestern Italy.
Police said it was more than double the entire amount seized in the same area last year.
The drugs were found in a container of coffee beans on its way to a Madrid-based company in Barcelona and had come from Honduras. The cargo was transferred between two ships in Costa Rica, according to police.
According to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, around 3.6 million adults (15-64) used cocaine last year.