In cooperation with federal customs authorities, police in Appenzell Inner Rhodes in eastern Switzerland have found 69 kilograms (152 pounds) of cocaine hidden in a shipping container.
The container from overseas was addressed to a company based in Appenzell and held three bags full of cocaine packets. It was not clear where the cocaine had been loaded, or what route it had taken to reach Switzerland. Police questioned and later released a Polish driver regarding the matter.
Authorities say this was the canton’s largest drug discovery. The local public prosecutor has opened a narcotics investigation in cooperation with St Gallen’s cantonal police as well as with the federal customs and police authorities. The cocaine will be destroyed.
Cocaine consumption in Swiss cities is among the highest in Europe. In March of this year, the Portugal-based European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addictionexternal link link identified Barcelona, Spain, as the overall cocaine capital of Europe. But five Swiss cities featured in the centre's top ten: Zurich ranked second, St Gallen fourth, Geneva fifth, Basel eighth, and Bern ninth.
The statistics come from a European wastewater study of 56 cities in 19 countries.