Aug. 27 (UPI) — Authorities in Montenegro said Friday they have made a record drug bust — close to 1,000 kilos of cocaine hidden in a shipment of bananas.
Police said the drugs were found Thursday night in more than 1,200 different packages from South America.
The bust followed a lengthy search of the shipment in in Mojanovici, near the capital Podgorica.
Police said in a tweet Friday that two people were arrested and charged with unauthorized production, possession and distribution.
Authorities said the haul, the largest in Montenegro’s history, could be worth as much as $3.5 million.
“We are doing what we promised,” Deputy Prime Minister of Montenegro Dr. Dritan Abazovic tweeted. “Montenegro will not be a country of crime.”
The former republic of Yugoslavia lies along a popular route for drug smugglers to reach markets in Western Europe.
Conflicts between the Kavac and Skaljari gangs have endured in the region for several years.
Two months ago, U.S. President Joe Biden signed an executive order sanctioning those who threaten peace, security, and stability in Western Balkan states like Montenegro. He also expressed support for integrating Western Balkan states into the European Union.