• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Aldi cocaine banana haul a 'logistical error'

The Local · 8 Jan 2014, 08:59

Published: 08 Jan 2014 08:59 GMT+01:00

Packets of the drug turned up in seven banana crates in five stores. Police said it was the second biggest cocaine find in Berlin of the last 35 years and was worth around €6 million.

On Tuesday Olaf Schremm from Berlin’s criminal investigation office said: “We are assuming that it was a logistical mistake by the criminals.”

The bananas came from Columbia on a shipment to Hamburg. They were then transported to the Moabit area of Berlin where they were sent out to suppliers.

The banana shipment was originally bound for the UK via Rotterdam, but the cargo was six days late due to bad weather in the Atlantic and when it arrived in the Netherlands, the Dutch buyer no longer wanted the bananas. 

It therefore sailed on to Hamburg.

But the crates containing the cocaine appeared to have been sent to Aldi by mistake.

Workers at an Aldi store in Reinickendorf made the first discovery at 8am on Monday.

More cocaine parcels were then discovered across by Aldi workers in Köpenick, Rahnsdorf, Wilmersdorf and in Velten in Brandenburg.

The first tests showed they contained 55 percent pure cocaine but police stressed some of the parcels could be up to 90 percent purity.

Police and customs officials traced the bananas to a container which had arrived from Colombia with around 1,150 crates of bananas.

In one Aldi branch in Köpenick workers found 60 kilos of cocaine. Another Aldi store in the same district came across 40 kilos, the BZ said.

Story continues below…

The discount supermarket has been cooperative, police said in a statement.

Banana crates seem to be a popular vessel for cocaine smuggling. In December last year Norwegian police found 145 kilograms of cocaine stashed inside them.

Last summer Danish customs officers found 200 kilograms of cocaine in banana boxes kept in the warehouses of the Coop supermarket chain. In October, British police seized 850 kilograms of cocaine hidden among bananas in a cargo from Colombia. 

READ MORE: Dutch clampdown drives cannabis farms east

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Parents blast principal who ordered kids to strip naked
File Photo: DPA

The principal at a school near Düsseldorf is being investigated for forcing two students from a neighbouring school to strip naked in his office.

Unemployment at historic low despite growth fears
A worker climbs into a car at the end of an Opel production line in Eisenach, Thuringia. Photo: DPA

Despite cuts in growth forecasts, the number of people in work remained at historic lows in March. But the Left Party told The Local the figures do not reflect reality.

Suspect in Cologne sex assaults caught in Switzerland
Cologne Cathedral on New Year. Photo: DPA

A key suspect in the New Year's Eve mass sexual assaults in Cologne was spotted shoplifting in southern Germany and arrested across the border in Switzerland, authorities said on Thursday.

US Presidential election
Germany scratches head over Trump's zany foreign policy
Donald Trump (l) didn't impress Frank-Walter Steinmeier (r) with his foreign policy nous. Photos: DPA

US Presidential hopeful Donald Trump's explanation of his foreign policy got a polite but decidedly critical reception from Berlin on Thursday.

Brussels threatens Berlin over Autobahn toll on foreigners
A stretch of the Autobahn in Baden-Württemberg. Photo: DPA.

The European Commission demanded Germany make changes to its plan for an Autobahn toll on foreign drivers - or else face a challenge before the Court of Justice.

Germany, France want 'brake' on visa-free travel from Turkey
File photo: DPA

Berlin and Paris have crafted a plan that would allow them to put an 'emergency brake' on visa-free travel from Turkey as the EU negotiates a deal for Turkish citizens.

Top scientist faces probe after 3 children die in clinical trial
File Photo: DPA

The Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich is investigating an award-winning scientist, after eight children who participated in an experimental study contracted leukaemia.

Germany ‘to block EU citizens from welfare for 5 years’
People walking into an employment office in Germany. Photo: DPA

EU citizens moving to Germany could be shut out from welfare payments for five years under a draft law seen by German media outlets on Thursday.

Munich Oktoberfest to get first-ever entrance checks
Bavarian police at the entrance to the Oktoberfest grounds. File photo: DPA

Revellers hoping to join in the carousing at Munich Oktoberfest will have to pass through a security check before entering the festival grounds this year, Munich authorities have said.

Neo-Nazis in dock over plan to bomb refugees
The accused in the dock with their lawyers. Photo: DPA

A group of neo-Nazis calling itself the "Old School Society" went on trial Wednesday in Germany charged with forming a terror group that planned attacks against an asylum seeker home.

Sponsored Article
What's the best way for expats to transfer money abroad?
Gallery
Feast your eyes on Germany in springtime bloom
Sponsored Article
Becoming an expat: where to start
Culture
6 weird ways Germans celebrate May 1st
National
4/20: Five things to know about weed in Germany
Sponsored Article
How to launch your international career
Berlin
Police break up hipster swarm at vegan restaurant opening
Politics
Merkel allows Erdogan case against German satirist to go ahead
Travel
7 of Germany's most jaw-dropping national parks
Hamburg
Gay penguins move to Hamburg to settle down
Business & Money
See-through €5 coin has collectors lining up
Health
Vegan hemp powder recalled over fear toddlers getting high
International
6 ways Mexico and Germany are secretly the best of friends
Munich
Drunk man falls onto tracks, 3 trains pass before anyone notices
Culture
The 7 most German things that happened at the 'German Grammys'
National
Could Germany ban diesel cars from city centres?
Travel
Eight things you never knew about the German Autobahn
Society
Police force naked driver to trek to brothel on foot
National
Bavarian town finally strips Hitler of honorary citizenship
Society
Brandenburg faces wrath of Flying Spaghetti Monster
International
German retiree 'fed to dog' by Russian wife in Mallorca
National
Ordinary Germans toast love online in face of Brussels bombings
National
Germany calls for "strength in unity" after Brussels bombings
7,864
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd