Poland seizes three tonnes of cocaine worth $761 million

WARSAW (Reuters) - Polish authorities have seized more than three tonnes of cocaine hidden in barrels of frozen pineapple pulp and with a street value of around 3 billion zlotys ($760.9 million), in a record haul for the country.

Police said in a statement on Tuesday they had arrested three men from the northern Polish region of Pomerania, aged from 64 to 71, as a result of their investigation.

The cocaine was discovered in barrels of frozen pineapple pulp in a warehouse in the northern port city of Gdynia, they said. It had been transported by ship to Hamburg from Ecuador before travelling to Gdynia by road.

“The value of the cocaine discovered was three billion zlotys and it could have been divided into one million doses,” Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told a news conference.

“It could have been a powerful blow to the health of young people.”

Latin American drug lords have been sending bumper shipments of cocaine to Europe even as the new coronavirus pandemic disrupts drug supply chains and confines users to their homes, anti-narcotics officials say.

In December Poland seized two tonnes of cocaine from Colombia worth around 2 billion zlotys.

On Sunday Dutch authorities said police had seized 2,020 kilos of cocaine, with an estimated value of over 151 million euros ($170 million), in a shipment of bananas from Ecuador.

($1 = 3.9425 zlotys)

Reporting by Alan Charlish and Pawel Florkiewicz; Editing by Gareth Jones