“We seized 1,417 kilos of cocaine,” Peru’s anti-drug division said in statement (via Spain’s AS newspaper).
Many of the packages sported the Argentine soccer player’s visage, along with his official logo, according to anti-drug officers. Other packages in the shipment were stamped with the word “King” and featured the seal of the king of Spain.
The officers made clear neither Messi nor Spain’s monarchy had anything to do with the shipments of the illicit drug, but that the branding was a commonly used tactic by drug smugglers to ensure the quality of their product. Intricate art on packaging also is also used so that recipients of the large bricks can see that the packages were not tampered with.
The bust occurred over the weekend when the shipment arrived in Lima. La Republica reports officers were “following a trail” that led them to the contaminated shipment. It remains unknown from which drug cartel the shipment originated.
“As the hours go by, and this investigation advances, not only will we identify the members of this network, but in also capture the recipients,” and anti-drug officers told the paper. “There is no doubt that this is an international organization.”
This latest seizure by Peruvian authorities follows one in January in which officers discovered two tons of cocaine hidden in asparagus cans, according to La Republica.
“The imagination of those who engage in this business never rests,” said General Vicente Romero Fernandez, the director of Peru’s national police force.