Albania police seize Colombian cocaine from banana shipment

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TIRANA, Albania (AP) -- Albanian police say they have seized 613 kilograms (1,350 pounds) of cocaine that arrived in the country in a shipment of bananas from Colombia.

Top policeman Ardi Veliu on Wednesday said two people were arrested a day earlier after the cocaine, in small packages, was found in a container that was unloaded from a ship coming from Colombia via Italy and Malta.

The container was taken to a private storage facility before police intervened. Its owner is still at large.

Police said the estimated market value of the drugs is 180 million euros ($220 million).

Albania was previously known as a crossroad for the trafficking of marijuana, but a government crackdown has led to a significant reduction in the number of plantations, though regular seizures show that traffickers still have marijuana stored.

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