Nesca cocaine crash: Swiss factory workers find $ 50 million drug in the middle of coffee, Nestle confirms

GENEVA – Swiss police say an investigation is under way after workers at a Nespresso warehouse in western Switzerland found 500 kilograms (over 1,100 pounds) of cocaine, worth $ 50 million on the street, while unloading coffee beans that arrived by train.

Friborg regional police said late Thursday that the company had warned them Monday of a discovery at a facility in the town of Romont and immediately set up a “wide security perimeter” around it with a large deployment of police officers. Customs and border control officers were called.

Early indications were that the shipment appeared in five containers that arrived by sea from Brazil before being transferred to the train, authorities said.

“The seized cocaine has an 80 percent degree of purity, and its market value is estimated at more than 50 million francs,” police said, adding that the stock appeared to be “destined for the European market.”

European Union law enforcement agency Europol and the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction reported on Friday that cocaine availability in Europe is “probably at its peak”.

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Switzerland is not a member of the EU, but it is part of the Schengen area, which allows visa-free travel among many European countries.

The Monitoring Center said it estimates that the EU cocaine retail market was worth at least 10.5 billion euros ($ 11.1 billion) in 2020, warning that figure would likely underestimate the actual size of the market.

The largest quantities of cocaine were said to be seized in Belgian, Dutch and Spanish ports, but increasing quantities are appearing in ports elsewhere “suggesting that smuggling groups are expanding their activities to ports where cocaine bans may be considered less intensive”. .

Swiss food and beverage giant Nestle, which owns Nespresso, has tried to convince customers that “all our products are safe to consume”.

“We have strict quality controls for green coffee that arrives in our warehouses all the way to the finished product,” the Vevey-based company in Switzerland said in a statement sent by email to the Associated Press. “The substance in question has not come into contact with any of our products or the production equipment used to make our products.”

Nestle said it could not give more details due to an ongoing police investigation.

The video in the above player is from an earlier report.

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