EIGHT people have been held in Murcia after 290 kilograms of cocaine were found in a shipment of oranges from Brazil.
Two containers of the fruit arrived at Algeciras port, Cadiz, but were deemed unfit for consumption.
Upon closer inspection, customs officials unearthed the narcotics hidden amongst the fruit in 250 camouflaged packages.
Investigators were alerted because the goods were declared unsuitable for sale yet the importing company were preparing to remove them from the port, a move which would cost more than it would provide in returns.
Police believe that the companies have not been acting alone and are connected to large criminal organisations.
They suspect that those detained were in charge of receiving the product in Spain.
Investigations had begun before the finding as both Madrid and Algeciras drug and organised crime departments were aware of the activities of a number of South American companies who attempted to smuggle drugs amidst fruit.
Specialists in this form of smuggling usually leave the illicit substances at the front of a container so that it can be easily removed and a forged seal placed instead but in this case the packages were hidden deep within the container.
The foiled attempt was blasted by police, they said:
“It was a totally ruinous business and lacking any commercial logic.”
More than 3,600 kilograms of cocaine has been seized in Andalucia over the past year, three times more than the amount seized in the whole of 2015.