Montenegro seizes cocaine reportedly hidden among bananas

January 13, 2022 GMT

PODGORICA, Montenegro (AP) — Montenegrin police have seized nearly half a ton of cocaine reportedly hidden in a banana shipment, officials and media said on Thursday.

More than 400 kilos (880 pounds) of the drug were found in a warehouse in the capital Podgorica on Wednesday, the official RTCG television said.

Deputy Prime Minister Dritan Abazovic hailed the seizure on Twitter without revealing any details. Authorities said an investigation has been launched.

“This was the second large cocaine seizure in five months,” said Abazovic. “We continue the joint fight against drug cartels.”

The Vijesti daily reported that customs officers at the Adriatic Sea port of Bar first spotted the drugs few days ago but authorities decided not to act immediately.

Small Montenegro, and other Balkan countries, serves as a transit route for drug trafficking toward Western Europe. The NATO member country has been urged to curb crime to advance in its bid to join the European Union.