SAO PAULO Ė Federal Police and customs agents found 364 kilos (802 lbs.) of cocaine abandoned in refrigerator containers in the port of Santos, Brazilís largest, that the traffickers had intended for the Netherlands, police said on Monday.
At first, according to a police report, five cocaine pills were found inside colorful plastic balloons in the refrigerator containers section at the port terminal of Guaruja, a city neighboring Santos on the coast of Sao Paulo state.
In addition, teams of Federal Police serving the Internal Revenue Service and of Maritime Police (Nepom) found the rest of the cocaine in black suitcases inside industrial drums to be sent to Rotterdam.
Authorities suspect the drug traffickers got wind of police and customs agents getting dangerously close and slipped away.
According to the first reports, owners of the company responsible for shipping the drums were unaware that the drug had been infiltrated into the cargo.
The inspection came after the same authorities on Saturday, also in Santos, seized 329 kilos of cocaine addressed to the port of Antwerp, Belgium.
Last month, Brazilian customs officials confiscated from a ship docked in Santos 1,165 kilos of cocaine, also headed for the port of Antwerp.
The Santos port terminal, Brazilís largest, is the frequent scene of cocaine seizures, which in 2018, according to partial data up to the end of December, added up to more than 23 tons of the drug hidden in shipments for export, with Europe the main destination.
That preliminary amount was far more than in 2017 (11.5 tons) or in 2016 (10.6 tons).