Two held after 17.7 kg cocaine found hidden in bananas

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Two men, aged 40 and 46, were arrested in a drug bust involving 17.7 kilos of cocaine hidden with bananas carried out in cooperation with Greek police, the British Bases and Cyprus customs.

Cypriot police said their Greek counterparts had tipped them off on July 19 that drugs were hidden in a container with bananas originating from Ecuador, with Cyprus as the final destination.

The two men arrested were taken before a British Bases court, which remanded them in custody for two days.

According to reports, the shipment with the bananas had left Ecuador on its way to Cyprus, stopping at the Piraeus port in Greece, where local officers had spotted the drugs.

After contacting Cyprus police, the two law enforcement agencies agreed on a controlled delivery of the container on the island.

The container arrived at Limassol port on July 26, where the controlled delivery got underway with the help of customs.

The following day, the container was transferred to a fruit warehouse in Asomatos, Limassol, in the area under the jurisdiction of the British Bases in Akrotiri.

The container was then kept under surveillance until Tuesday, when two men aged 40 and 46 were seen cautiously approaching the container, removing the metal lid, and taking the packages with the drugs.

Bases police, with the help of the Cyprus Drug Squad, intervened and arrested them.

“The SBA police are committed to tackling organised criminals who cause the most harm within our communities.

“We work closely with partners to combat the highest risk organised crime threats which cause violence and intimidation throughout its supply chain,” Superintendent Constantinos Petrou of the bases police said.

132 kg cannabis

A 46-year-old man was remanded in custody on Tuesday for his alleged involvement in a bizarre drug bust in which 132kg of cannabis was seized in March.

The Republic issued a European arrest warrant against him following evidence during the case investigation.

The man was recently located in Spain and arrested by local authorities, while after a judicial process, the authorities approved the request for his extradition to Cyprus.

On Monday, members of the drug squad travelled to Spain to escort the suspect by plane to Larnaca airport, where they arrested him with a court warrant upon their arrival.

A District Court of Limassol remanded him in custody for four days to facilitate investigations.

Following a tip-off to the police in March, a shipping container of animal feed at Limassol port was found to contain large quantities of cannabis.

There were 24 wooden bases in it, containing 915 packages of animal feed, while the subsequent investigation revealed that in 135 sacks of animal feed, there were a total of 132 airtightly closed packages of cannabis, weighing 132 kilos.

A 38-year-old man was initially arrested for the case, followed by the arrest of a 61-year-old man, who allegedly confessed that he had brought the drugs together with the first suspect.

However, the 61-year-old passed away in the meantime, while the 38-year-old was temporarily released pending further investigations.