Peruvian anti-drug police seized 58 one-kilogram packages of cocaine Thursday bearing pictures of a Nazi flags on the outside and the name “Hitler” printed in low relief. The drugs were found in the port of Paita, on Peru’s northern Pacific coast, close to its border with Ecuador.
The cocaine was hidden in a shipping container carrying asparagus on the Liberian-flagged vessel SC Anisha R, which had earlier anchored in an Ecuadorian port, according to a police report obtained by The Associated Press. It said the shipment was destined for a port in Belgium.
The Peruvian police’s anti-drug directorate showed videos and photographs to the AP revealing that the drugs were stashed inside the ventilation system of the shipping container. Police continued to search the more than 80 containers on the vessel.
Peruvian authorities have previously reported finding cocaine in brick-shaped packages with various and strange symbols, but never with one of the flag of Nazi Germany.
Authorities in Peru estimate the country produces around 100 tons of drugs per year, and most of it leaves for Europe by sea, but also on small planes that carry cocaine to Bolivia on its way to Atlantic ports.
Police did not say if anyone was arrested.
Peruvian authorities seized 22 tons of cocaine in 2022.
Authorities in Peru estimate that the country produces around 100 tons of drugs per year and most of it is shipped to Europe by sea, but it also leaves the country on small planes that carry it to Bolivia, on its way to Atlantic ports.
Peru is the world’s second-largest grower of coca leaf, according to the United Nations, and the world’s second-largest producer of cocaine, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
It is not uncommon for trafficked drugs to include designed packaging. Last month, packages of cocaine worth more than $100,000 washed up on several Florida beaches, including one wrapped in packaging that appeared to mimic the Chanel logo.
In March, police in Italy found a large cache of drugs in packaging decorated with images of notorious Mafia leaders — including the “Cosa Nostra” boss who was recently arrested after 30 years on the run. That same month, a “narco sub” was intercepted off Colombia carrying nearly 1,000 packages of cocaine, some of which appeared to be labeled “ROCKY” and “LMM.”
AFP contributed to this report.