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Spain uncovers cocaine haul beneath flower shipment

28 December 09 22:49 GMT
By Sarah Rainsford
BBC News, Madrid

Spanish police have intercepted a two-tonne shipment of cocaine, smuggled into the country from Colombia.

The drugs, which Spanish media reports say were worth 70m euros (£62.8m), were hidden beneath a consignment of thousands of cut flowers.

They were discovered by police in an operation code-named "Flower Power" at Foronda airport, in the Basque Country.

Spain's interior ministry has released pictures showing how the drugs were packed into the base of wooden pallets.

Police found more than 2,000kg of what they describe as "extremely pure" cocaine which had been flown into northern Spain from Colombia.

The seizure follows a police investigation launched last year.

A total of 13 people have been arrested so far, including airport customs officers and three suspects in Barcelona and Madrid.

It is Spain's second major drugs haul in a week.

Last Tuesday, a ship carrying 1.5 tonnes of cocaine was seized off the coast during an international police operation.

A drug smuggling network - again involving Colombia - is being investigated.

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