The largest-ever cocaine haul in Cyprus, 156kg, with an estimated street value north of €15 million, was uncovered by authorities on Thursday.
Acting on a tip-off and after an operation spanning several days, the drug squad (YKAN) tracked down the stash at a customs warehouse in Zakaki, at a location north of the port of Limassol.
Over a hundred packages filled with high-quality cocaine had been crammed into the fuel containers of three generators stored at the warehouse.
By nighttime, police had managed to extract all the cocaine packages, with a total gross weight of 156kg.
According to Gavriel Gavriel, head of the drug squad (YKAN), the illegal cargo arrived in Cyprus in two shipments, in April and May.
The cargo originated somewhere in South America, passing through a number of European ports before arriving in Limassol.
Responding to a question, Gavriel said police believe the cargo would have been re-exported, “although we cannot be sure whether part of the quantity [of the cocaine] would have remained here.”
He said the drug squad’s operation began a few days ago, in collaboration with “a corresponding agency in another country.”
No arrests have been made to date. Police here were working with Interpol and Europol.
Both shipments containing the narcotics originated in Chile, police sources later told the Cyprus Mail.
They confirmed this was the largest cocaine seizure ever made in Cyprus.
The same sources told the Mail that the cocaine appeared to be of high quality.
Cocaine in Cyprus goes for anywhere between €80 and €120 per gram, they said.
In Nicosia, it usually sells for around €80 per gram, and for €100 in Limassol.
Police would not comment on the final destination of the drugs, although the Netherlands was mentioned by some local media outlets.
Although it appears that Cyprus was not the intended market, the 156 kg discovered would fetch here some €15.6 million using an average value of €100 per gram.
Back in March of 2015, just over 100kg of cocaine were found and seized by police in a car near Mouttayiaka, Limassol.
Acting on a tip, the drug squad cut off a car, as well as a second vehicle following it, to carry out a search, which revealed two suitcases filled with cocaine, packed in round tubes.