Bunches of fake bananas stashed with 17kg of cocaine have been uncovered by Spanish police.
The drug was hidden between 57 bananas made of resin and in cardboard boxes carrying real fruit.
The operation was codenamed “Esplit” and according to the authorities, has smashed a highly organised gang specialising in smuggling cocaine into Spain via Valencia and Malaga.
The stock was intercepted by the Civil Guard and tax officials in the two Spanish cities as part of an ongoing investigation into drug trafficking.
Customs officers said the fruit, made of resin, looked so realistic that it was difficult to tell the difference.
Three raids were carried out on the Costa del Sol and two men were arrested. A third person is under investigation.
Police said they are of Spanish and Italian nationality, aged between 37 and 57.
“The cocaine was hidden in 57 simulated resin bananas and in the flags of cardboard boxes containing real fruit,” said a spokesman.
The 57 artificial bananas were found amongst a crate of real fruit.
When split open, they had seven kilos of cocaine stuffed inside.
The substance tested positive when examined by narcotic experts.
Subsequently, another 10 kilograms of cocaine were seized in various sheets hidden in the flaps of cartons containing real bananas.