MADRID — Spanish customs agents and National Police said Friday they confiscated the country’s biggest cocaine haul to date of 9.5 tons hidden in a banana freight container originating from Ecuador.

The drug was found Wednesday in the southwestern port of Algeciras in a refrigerated container among a cargo shipment supposed to have held 1,080 boxes of bananas, said José Carlos Arobes, a senior official for the Spanish tax agency that covers customs inspections.

Prior to this seizure, Spain’s biggest cocaine bust was of 8.4 tons in 2018, also found in a supposed banana container in Algeciras.

The tax agency said the investigations began in July when police received information about a pending shipment of Colombian cocaine via Ecuador in August. The organization behind the shipment operated through a banana exporting company in Machala, Ecuador, the agency said.

The cargo was due to be delivered in Portugal for later distribution throughout Europe.

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