Two sergeants of the Texas Prison, set out on Friday morning to pick up two pallets of already-ripe fruit – 45 banana-filled boxes – from the Ports of America in Freeport. But when they arrived to grab up their load, they found one of the boxes felt different from the rest.
They reportedly snipped away the straps and rummaged around, until he uncovered a bundle hidden under the bananas. Inside, was a white powdery substance. They then discovered that there was $17m worth of cocaine hidden inside the boxes.
However after scouring all the boxes, agents found a total of 540 packages of coke, with an estimated street value of nearly $17.8 million.
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice said in a Facebook post, that the drugs were found in two pallets of bananas that were donated because they were already ripe. The donation arrived Friday. The Drug Enforcement Administration, and Customs and Border Protection are both investigating, according to a prison press release. But, it appears, the perpetrator has already split.
Few years ago also, more than €15m (£11m) worth of cocaine turned up in boxes of bananas, delivered to supermarkets in and around Berlin, police said. Staff working at 14 Aldi stores reported the stashes of narcotics tucked in the produce deliveries from Colombia, which police believe ended up at the shops by accident.
“Apparently there was a logistical mistake somewhere along the line,” police spokesman Stefan Redlich told AFP, adding that investigators were now trying to determine the intended destination of the drugs.
He said the 386-kilo shipment was the biggest single cocaine find in the history of the German capital. In a similar case in January 2014, Berlin supermarket workers discovered 140 kilos (310 pounds) of the drug worth around €6m (£4.4m) also hidden in crates of bananas.