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Police discovered the mammoth haul of the class-A drug in the port of Paita on Wednesday
Peruvian cops have seized 57 kilos of cocaine disguised in tightly packed bricks covered in Nazi symbols and with the name ‘Hitler’ imprinted on them.
Police discovered the mammoth haul of the class-A drug in the port of Paita on Wednesday, May 24.
The cocaine, with an estimated street value of up to $6.8million, had been packed in bricks sealed with the name of the German war leader and marked with dozens of swastika symbols.
Photos released by the Peruvian National Police show two officers, one on a ladder, wearing gloves and helmets as they search a shipping container.
Before them lies 50 tightly packed cocaine-filled packages, most of them featuring the notorious Nazi symbol.
According to the latest data from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the average street price of a gram of cocaine in the US is $120, meaning 57 kilos could be worth as much as $6.8m.
Coke production in Peru is reportedly controlled by family clans who work alongside Serbian, Mexican and Colombian mafias as well as corrupt officials to smuggle cocaine across international borders.
With local consumption limited, most of it is shipped through Mexico to the US market or through Brazil for the European market, while other shipments are sent directly to Oceania and Japan.
Drugs wrapped in Nazi insignia is a new development for Peruvian police who have previously reported finding cocaine in brick-shaped packages with various and strange symbols.
After its neighbour Colombia, Peru is the largest producer of cocaine in the world, with about 400 tonnes produced each year, according to official figures.
The country is also one of the largest producers of coca leaf, a product that is legal when used to chew or make an infusion but is also the primary material in cocaine.
Despite the Peruvian government pledging to fight against drug trafficking, a 2022 report showed that efforts to forcibly remove coca plants have fallen since the Covid-19 pandemic.
In 2019, Peru’s government eradicated 25,526 hectares of coca but in 2020, this had dropped drastically to 6,273 hectares and in 2021 it plummeted again by nearly 500 hectares.
But while coca growing has been on the rise, police have been seizing increasing amounts of the harmful drug across the country.