Italian authorities discover $217m worth of cocaine

Lines of cocaine.
Photo credit: Image - iStock

Italy seized almost 650kg of cocaine in the northwestern port of Livorno, more than double the entire amount seized there last year.

The street value of the cocaine found, which was discovered on January 15 stuffed into 23 large duffle bags, is €130 million (NZ$217 million), finance police said in a statement.

The drugs were in a container of coffee beans that was destined to be delivered to a Madrid-based company in the port of Barcelona.

The shipment left from Honduras and was transferred to another cargo ship in Costa Rica before crossing the Atlantic, police said.

While police made no arrests and did not say who they thought the drugs belonged to, Italy's 'Ndrangheta organised crime group, centred in the southern Calabria region, is considered by investigators to be the largest cocaine importer in Europe.

Reuters