- Police in Switzerland seized over half a ton of cocaine that was found hidden in a coffee shipment.
- Nestle workers at a Nespresso plant alerted authorities to the presence of a mysterious powder.
- The shipment reportedly originated in Brazil, and police said the drugs were destined for Europe.
Swiss police said Thursday they have seized more than 500 kilograms (1,100 pounds) of cocaine that was concealed inside a shipment of coffee beans.
Workers at a Nespresso plant — the subsidiary that makes Nestle’s coffee capsules — alerted authorities on Monday to the presence of the mysterious white powder that was discovered when they were unloading bags of beans from Brazil.
“The substance in question did not come into contact with any of our products or production equipment used to make our products,” Nespresso said in an emailed statement to Reuters.
“As a police investigation is underway, we cannot share more details. We want to reassure consumers that all our products are safe to consume,” the company added said.
Nestle did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for a comment.
Police analyzed the powder and said it was 80% pure, and destined for the European market with an estimated street value of $50 million, according to Agence France-Presse.
Transactions in the physical commodities markets, like coffee, can be extremely difficult to trace, according to Bloomberg commodities expert Javier Bias.
“If you are trading on the financial market, you are buying oil futures or options, all of those trades are registered somewhere. There is a trade repository,” he said in a recent Odd Lots podcast.
“On the physical market, you could buy oil, metals, agricultural commodities, and you do not have to disclose anything,” he added.
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