Swiss Police Find $70 Million of Cocaine Hidden in Coffee

Basel police uncovered Switzerland’s largest cocaine seizure in coffee
Coffee beans

Wikimedia/Sten Porse

A routine check of a container of Brazilian coffee uncovered over 400 pounds of nearly pure cocaine tucked in with the beans. 

Police in Basel were making a routine investigation of a shipment of coffee recently, but they wound up finding something a bit stronger than caffeine when they uncovered the biggest stash of cocaine in Switzerland’s history.

According to The Local, police in Basel were doing a routine investigation of a shipment of coffee that came to Switzerland from Brazil when they found bags containing 191 kilograms, or 421 pounds of 90-percent pure cocaine. The shipment reportedly originated in Brazil, where it was tucked in among bags of Brazilian coffee. The drugs and the coffee were transported together by boat to Antwerp, Belgium, where it was transported by shipping container to Switzerland.

The cocaine part of the haul was reportedly worth $70.6 million, and police suspect the drugs were not actually intended to wind up in Switzerland. In fact, the cocaine was supposed to be removed from the shipment before it ever got to Basel, and the coffee was supposed to go on to Switzerland on its own. The fact that the drugs stayed in the container and wound up confiscated by police in Switzerland is almost certainly very bad news for somebody.


Swiss police say they have launched an investigation, but have not revealed the identities of the subjects of the investigation.