Police Seize $41 Million Worth of Cocaine Disguised as Charcoal

Authorities in Ireland and the Netherlands worked together to seize $41.4 million worth of cocaine disguised as charcoal inside containers from South America.

Charcoal burns and glows in a charcoal grill.

Image via Getty/Soeren Stache/picture alliance

Charcoal burns and glows in a charcoal grill.

Irish and Dutch authorities seized tens of millions of dollars worth of cocaine disguised as charcoal, CNN reports.

The cocaine was located in two shipping containers that arrived at the port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands from South America several weeks ago. The containers appeared to contain 2,000 bags of charcoal, but drug sniffing dogs and an X-ray scanner were able to pick out the bags with cocaine.

The Forensic Science Ireland (FSI) said in a press release that it “will take a number of days and perhaps longer for FSI to extract the cocaine from the product within which it is concealed.” The overall value of this discovery is believed to have a street value of 35 million euros, or $41.4 million.

Michael O’Sullivan, head of the Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre, said the “massive seizure” dealt a “huge blow to the organized crime group involved,” one of which being the Irish crime collective, who have allegedly played a pivotal role in importing cocaine throughout Europe.

“This is a significant development in the Garda Síochána’s effort to disrupt and dismantle organised crime groups suspected to be involved in the importation of cocaine and other drugs into Ireland,” John O’Driscoll, assistant commissioner of the Garda Síochána, said. Garda Síochána is the name of Ireland’s national police.

The Garda Síochána said in their own press release that Irish investigators suspect these containers were part of an initiative to import upwards of half a ton of cocaine to Ireland. 

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