, MADRID, Feb 1 – Spanish police seized 71 kilos of cocaine hidden in a shipment of roses that arrived at Madrid airport from Colombia and arrested seven people, the interior ministry said Tuesday.
The drugs were found in 60 boxes of roses at the cargo terminal of the airport, Spain\’s busiest, and the arrests were carried out in Madrid, Murcia and Valencia, it said in a statement.
Police believe the suspects belong to a drug trafficking group that in 2009 made a failed bid to smuggle 800 kilos (1,760 pounds) of cocaine into Spain from Colombia hidden in polypropylene.
That drug shipment was seized in the Latin American country from a truck that was transporting it to the Colombian port of Buenaventura where it was to be put on a ship bond for the Spanish port of Valencia.
Spain\’s close ties with its former colonies in South America, a major cocaine producing region, have made it Europe\’s main entry point for the drug.
Earlier this month Spanish police seized 162 kilos (356 pounds) of cocaine hidden inside fake plastic bananas that had been concealed in a 20-tonne shipment of real bananas from Ecuador.