Spanish customs agents have seized an eight-tonne shipment of cocaine from Suriname. The authorities have seized eight tonnes of cocaine hidden in a container in the port of Algeciras, the Agencia Tributaria tax and customs authority said in a statement on Monday.

The haul of cocaine is one of the largest ever intercepted in Spain. It was found inside a metal structure that was designed to confuse the customs agents’ scanning equipment.

However, the scanner managed to detect that the structure contained ‘a large quantity of merchandise’ and so the customs agents forced it open to discover eight tonnes of ‘very high purity cocaine’.

The Spanish authorities said they had been able to intercept the cocaine despite the “innovative system” the traffickers had used to try to bypass scanner detention, as well as the complex choice of route.

The drug smugglers had planned a route designed to make the discovery of the cargo’s true contents as difficult as possible. From Suriname it travelled to Panama and from there to Algeciras. Its next destination was Leixoes in Portugal, from where it was to be transported by road back to Spain.

Three people are being investigated as part of the ongoing probe into the drug consignment. One of them, the person due to receive the shipment in Spain, has been arrested.

One of the three suspects, who is the owner of the company due to receive the merchandise, is currently wanted for arrest.

Video credit: Agencia Tributaria tax