Sunday, September 30, 2012


1 British pound sterling = 1.6137 U.S. dollars.

Banana-like fruits contained 16.5lbs of cocaine hidden in shipment of fruit and vegetables on flight from Ghana

By Tony Whitfield and Alex Ward

Mail Online
September 28, 2012

Drug smugglers packed hollowed out fruit with 16.5lbs of cocaine worth £750,000 in an attempt to smuggle it into the country by plane.

Hidden among a delivery of fruit and vegetables, customs officers discovered the illegal haul when the flight from Ghana landed at Heathrow airport on Tuesday.

The cocaine was discovered inside plantains, a banana-like fruit, which had been filled with packages of the drug and resealed before being packed with other products.

Border staff believe the same gang was responsible for sending 1.5-tonne of cannabis hidden in a shipment of fruit and vegetables from Ghana also intercepted at the airport the previous day.

The contraband was worth £4.3 million when sold by dealers on the street.

Marc Owen, Heathrow director for Border Force, said: 'It seems likely that the same criminal gangs were involved in both of these two smuggling attempts.

'This means that in just two days we have put a £5 million dent in their profits.

'These two seizures demonstrate the success we’re having in disrupting criminal smugglers and keeping illegal drugs off the streets of the UK.'

The cannabis seizure was the biggest at Heathrow Airport in more than three years.

The discoveries come just months after a mother-of-three was accused of smuggling 220lbs of cocaine, with a street value of £44million, into Heathrow.

Shopkeeper Paula Sanchez, 32, was arrested at her home in north London following a sting operation after the drugs were found in a food package that arrived from Ecuador at the London airport.

The package was thought to belong to a major South American drugs cartel.

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