A typical trafficking route

Start journey

A truck carrying fresh bananas arrives to a warehouse in a storage area close to the port of Guayaquil in the middle of the night.

The warehouse employees get out of the building and, after a quick conversation with the truck driver, they start offloading the boxes and bringing them inside.

The morning after, a member of a criminal network manages to enter the storage area and replaces bananas with cocaine bags. The altered banana boxes are loaded on the container truck.

The truck leaves.

The truck arrives at the port.

Once inside the port, the truck carrying cocaine approaches the container terminal.

Here, customs authorities check the bill of lading and put a seal on the door of the container.

Once in the terminal, port workers give the truck driver instructions for where to offload the container.

The truck reaches its final destination in the storage area.

A mobile crane approaches the truck, lifts the container and places it close to many others.

A couple of days later, a container ship arrives at the terminal and a crane starts loading containers. Our banana/cocaine container is also taken and loaded on board.

With the container lifted on board, the loading operations continue until all containers are on board.

The ship leaves the dock. The port authority runs a paper check and the ship is free to leave the port

After crossing the Atlantic Ocean and entering Greek waters, the ship asks Piraeus Port authorities for authorization to enter port waters.

Once docked at the container terminal, unloading operations start and our container is brought on land.

Once the unloading procedure is finished, the ship departs.

The day after, a new ship arrives. Our container is loaded on board together with many others. When the loading operations are over, the ship departs for the port of Gioia Tauro, Italy.

When in Gioia Tauro port, Italian customs authorities run a random check – some containers are selected for weight control. After identifying possible irregularities in the bill of lading, our container is assigned a check.

Italian customs in Gioia Tauro notice irregularities in the weight of the container and proceed with the scanning.

However, since the load is not meant to reach Italian territory but is in transit to the port of Rijeka, they contact Croatian customs authorities and communicate that there are irregularities and that boxes of bananas from Ecuador are likely to be filled with cocaine.

After the ship docks at the port of Rijeka, the unloading procedure begins and many containers are brought to land. Here, Croatian customs authorities already know which container presents irregularities.

Customs authorities identify the irregularity in our container’s paper check procedure, but instead of sending it to the scanning area they decide to do a controlled delivery.

The truck with the container leaves the terminal.

The truck leaves the port and heads towards the city. Croatian customs authorities alert the police to follow the truck without stopping it.

A Croatian police officer contacts a member of the criminal network in charge of the cocaine delivery and says that the police is following the container.

The trucks enters a wholesale market area and part of the banana boxes are unloaded. Some of the boxes containing cocaine are unloaded there and others continue their journey.

The truck departs again.

While on the road, Croatian police officers ask Slovenian police officers to continue following the truck.

Slovenian police officers ask Austrian police officers to continue following the truck.

The truck arrives at a warehouse but there is nobody there to receive the delivery.

The police arrives moments later.

Police officers retrieve the containers from the truck and identify cocaine among the bananas.

The police arrest the truck driver and the warehouse workers.