KANAGAWA (TR) – A record 700 kilograms of cocaine was seized from a freighter at Yokohama Port earlier this month, customs officials said on Thursday, reports Kyodo News (Apr. 16).
According to Japan Customs officials, the contraband has an estimated value of 14 billion yen. It is believed that the case is connected to a large international smuggling ring.
Between late March and earlier this month, customs officials discovered the cocaine hidden inside at least one container packed with bananas that had been loaded onto the freighter.
During questioning, the freighter’s crew members denied any involvement in smuggling of the cocaine.
In light of this, officials are considering the possibility that the contraband was loaded aboard the freighter without the knowledge of the crew. It then arrived at Yokohama Port after it could not be unloaded at a previous port targeted by the smuggling ring.
The previous record amount of cocaine seized was 400 kilograms, which was found aboard another freighter at the Port of Kobe last October.