Fabio Nodari via Getty Images

It’s just the latest of many fruits used in the drug trade

Tim Nelson
January 18, 2018

If we’ve learned anything at this point about prosecuting the war on drugs, it’s that suppliers will get more and more creative to evade detection and keep up with inelastic demand. Just last month we saw avocados used as cover for a massive marijuana shipment, and now reports out of Europe suggest that another popular fruit was used to creatively carry hundreds of kilos of cocaine. 

This week, a joint operation by Spanish and Portuguese authorities resulted in the seizure of 745 kilograms of cocaine concealed inside pineapples. Yes, really. An international Colombian-led smuggling ring placed the contraband in plastic tubes that were then tucked inside of the fresh fruit, surrounded by pineapple skins and hardened wax. 

Based on the nature of the investigation, it doesn’t seem like this was some amateur effort. It took the authorities ten months of investigating before making their move, and this week’s police action resulted in a total of nine arrests. 

Faux produce seem to be all the rage in the smuggling community these days, as Business Insider reported that everything from watermelons to plantains to tomatoes have been used as cover in recent times. Barring some unlikely move to end a drug war that’s cost billions of dollars without making much of a meaningful impact, expect drug runners to only get more creative with their use of fruits and vegetables over time. 

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