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Narcos Never Sleep — They've been extra crafty during lockdown
Smugglers are adding to their bag of tricks trying to get their products to market as pandemic restrictions ease in many places. The drug trade is already in the full bloom of a robust reopening. Let me tell you about it.
Police are discovering narcos' new methods — like making cocaine look just like coal, crafting hidden hydraulic false bottom roofs on refrigerator trucks, moving pot by ambulances through COVID-19 red zones — and, also a return to some of the old ways — hiding heroin in marble slabs from the Middle East and sneaking bricks of coke onto one of the first cruise ships allowed to set sail for the United States after the long shut down.
The Mob Reporter here with evidence that narcos never stopped, even as most of the world did, and if COVID slowed them, they’re making up for lost time.
In Spain, police announced a huge haul of coke cleverly camouflaged in what they called an unprecedented method. The cocaine was made to look like chunks of coal through a “complex chemical process,” and then packed it up hidden in a large shipment of real coal. Who said old dogs can’t learn new tricks? Police estimate its value at more than 30-million euros, more than $35 million US Dollars. The process isn’t quite as unique as the Spanish police would like us to believe. I track similar plots in Mexico and Malaysia.
Earlier in Spain, investigators marvelled at the dark ingenuity of other traffickers — a system of hydraulic lifts created a false bottom in the roof of refrigerator trucks used to distribute food across Europe, giving the movement the appearance of legitimacy.
In Italy, police announced another huge seizure of more than a ton of high-purity cocaine. It was found hidden in crates of bananas shipped from Ecuador in South America. Police say the load had an estimated value of about 225 million euros. That’s about $366 million US Dollars.
Police in Romania also recently uncovered a sneaky hiding spot in a shipment of polished marble slabs from Iran. Inside, investigators found 1,452 kilos of heroin, with an estimated value of 45 million euros, according to police. That’s more than $53 million US Dollars.
And if anyone needs more proof that the world’s narcos are as anxious as anyone for the lockdowns and travel restrictions to be lifted, there is this: one of the first wave of cruise ships to return to sailing again to and from the United States, a first officer aboard a large Royal Caribbean cruise ship, doing a routine inspection, found wrapped bricks stowed away in an out-of-the-way void space.
As things open up and restrictions ease, we will all find important benefits and return to the people and things we love. And so will the narcos.
Thanks for watching.
Music is “Smooth and Cool” by Nico Staf
Malaysian coal seizure video published on Twitter/@SelwamNewsMPB
Port Everglades photos and video are by Broward County’s Port Everglades
Night street scene video by Alexander Bobrov from Pexels
Women walking video by Yaroslav Shuraev from Pexels
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- The Mob Reporter
Please watch: "Corrupt LA cop's $2-million pot heist": https://youtu.be/Y2j4QnEaATE