Coca-Cola workers find smuggled cocaine in France shipment

Var-Matin, a daily in the southern French city of Signes, reported Wednesday that factory employees discovered the drugs on August 26 hidden in specially prepared sacks in an orange juice shipment from Costa Rica.

Authorities believe the drugs were smuggled alongside the concentrates which Coca-Cola ususlly imports for the production of some of their soft drinks.

The container containing the orange juice - and huge quantities of the illegal drug - arrived from Costa Rica.

A spokesman for Coca-Cola France said the company immediately notified police when the discovery was made last Friday by their employees.

The news has prompted jokes in the Twittersphere as to whether or not Coca-Cola is returning to its roots - the original recipe by pharmacist John Pemberton included cocaine-producing coca leaves.

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Details about the surprising find have not been revealed but local newspaper Var-Matin said the cocaine found weighed 370 kilograms, which is around 815 pounds.

Marseilles prosecutor Xavier Tarabeux told reporters that the drugs were packed in bags, hidden in the container.

Employees of the company are being ruled out of having any involvement in the operation, according to regional president Jean-Denis Malgras. What they found was a cocaine stash, which is estimated to be worth more than $50 million.

  • Sonia Alvarado