Germany charges eight Albanians in 1.8-tonne cocaine seizure

BERLIN (AP) — German authorities said eight Albanians have been charged with smuggling some 1.8 tonnes of cocaine into Germany in banana boxes in an elaborate scheme to run drugs from South America into Europe.

Prosecutors in the Bavarian city of Landshut said yesterday the men, whose names weren’t provided in line with privacy laws, face up to 15 years in prison if convicted of trafficking charges.

They’re alleged to have brought in cocaine from Ecuador hidden among banana shipments to Hamburg.

Once the bananas were taken to so-called ripening warehouses around Germany, prosecutors said they then broke into the facilities and recovered the drugs.

Authorities were alerted in 2017 when several boxes of bananas still containing the cocaine turned up in Bavarian supermarkets.