In November 2021, we wrote about Ecuador’s first Summit to deal with the important trade commodities of Cocoa and Bananas. However, although the organisers were keen to stress the importance of these commodity exports to the country, I don’t think the shipment seized two weeks ago in Rotterdam was the kind of export they had in mind.
A massive cache of cocaine worth €127m, was mixed with bananas and Cocoa across three containers. Smugglers use cocoa to hide the drugs because the chemical odours released by the cocoa can mask the cocaine from drug sniffing dogs.
The first container came from Ecuador and were loaded with bananas destined for a company in Barendrecht. The drugs in the second container were found in a load of cocoa beans, also from Ecuador but which had been shipped through Colombia and then came via AntwerpStatement from the prosecutors.
The Dutch authorities are concerned about the recent increase in drugs being smuggled through the port, citing an increase of 39% against the previous year.