At the largest seaport in Italy, Gioia Tauro, duffel bags filled with cocaine is smuggled into the country through shipping containers that were packed in Central or South America. The bags are filled with super-pure cocaine weighing about 40 to 45 kilograms. The bags are light enough that one man can quickly lift and remove the bag before Customs inspectors can search the container.
The cocaine in each bag has a wholesale value of $3 Million (€2.25 Million). If all of the cocaine in a single bag was sold on the streets of Europe, the value of the cocaine would be $12 Million (€9 Million).
Police seized over two tons of cocaine at the port of Gioia Tauro in 2012, more than double the amount of cocaine seized in 2011. However, according to the Interior Ministry, 90 percent of these types of bags are able to reach its destination and passes through Customs in Italy.
Source: Steve Scherer, “Insight: Smuggling, soccer and the mafia,” Reuters, January 24, 2013.