Police in Oslo still faced lots of unanswered questions heading into the weekend, after being tipped that cartons of fruit shipped from Ecuador contained more than green bananas. Tucked amidst the bunches were carefully wrapped packages containing 820 kilos of cocaine, the largest amount ever seized in Norway.
After tips from police in Germany, police seized the cocaine at a warehouse run by Bama, the dominant fruit wholesaler in Norway that also supports national sports teams. Bama itself was reportedly not under suspicion, even after police and customs agents arrived to search the warehouse in Oslo where several hundred cartons of bananas were stored. The cocaine was found in several dozen of them.
Police inspector Grete Lien Metlid stressed to reporters at a press conference Thursday evening that “it’s important to say that no one has been arrested in this case.” Bama officials were thus off the hook, apparently as surprised as everyone else that they’d taken delivery of more than bananas.
Police said they don’t know who was supposed to retrieve the cocaine. They even suspect the cocaine was mistakenly sent to Norway, after initially arriving in Germany on a ship from Ecuador, and that the fruit boxes with cocaine were supposed to have been sent to another country. State broadcaster NRK reported that the seizure is valued at several hundred million kroner, and police wanted to send a message to its smugglers that it’s been seized. A similar stash was seized in Germany, also hidden in fruit cartons. Norway is now taking part in a major international investigation into the shipments.