‘Cocaine bananas’ worth millions earn Swede and American jail terms

A Swede has been jailed for five years for his part in a cocaine smuggling operation in which almost a hundred kilos of the drug worth millions of kronor were smuggled in containers filled with bananas and vegetables.

'Cocaine bananas' worth millions earn Swede and American jail terms
File photo of bananas not related to the story. Photo: Knut Falch/TT

Södertörn District Court sentenced the Swede to five years in prison for two counts of complicity to serious narcotics crimes, complicity to serious drug smuggling, and serious drug crimes.

A US citizen involved in the operation was sentenced to 14 years in prison followed by deportation meanwhile for two counts of serious drug crimes, one count of serious narcotics smuggling and one count of bookkeeping crimes.

Both men were also banned from doing business in Sweden for five years.

The Swede was a board member at a Swedish company which imports fruit and vegetables, while the American was a representative of the same firm.

In 2013 it was discovered that the company had received a container transporting the cassava root which also contained around 37 kilos of high concentration cocaine.

In early 2015 meanwhile a container transporting bananas was stopped at the port in Antwerp, Belgium. The container, addressed to the same fruit and vegetable firm, had 53 kilos of high concentration cocaine stored in it.

The shipment was detained by Belgian authorities after their Swedish counterparts made them aware that it could contain the drug.

The district court concluded that the cocaine within the two containers could be worth an estimated value of around 250 million kronor ($27.12 million).