What was thought to be the world's largest ever cocaine bust was actually just bags of flour and sugar, a court has been told.
The shocking revelation emerged yesterday (Tuesday, January 24) during the trial of Genaro García Luna in New York.
Luna is Mexico's former Secretary of Public Security – the country's top security official – and has been charged after allegedly taking millions in bribe payments from Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzmán's infamous Sinaloa Cartel.
READ MORE: Inside the wild lives of El Chapo's sons from brutal lieutenant to brother killed at 21
Mexican former federal police officer Sergio Villarreal Barragán, known as El Grande, who worked for drugs boss Arturo Beltrán Leyva, gave evidence yesterday and lifted the lid on astronomical corruption.
He claimed cocaine seized in a record-breaking, 26-ton bust in the port city of Manzanillo in 2007 belonged to Beltrán Leyva and that his cartel, the Beltrán Leyva Organisation (BLO), managed to get it back.
He told the court the cartel created a "small factory" to produce fake cocaine using sugar and flour, pressing the mixture into bricks.
"We would package [the fake drugs] as if they were any other cocaine bricks," he said, according to Vice journalist Keegan Hamilton.
El Grande reportedly added the fake cocaine bricks were coated in varnish to make them shiny before corrupt customs officials swapped them out for what was seized.
Beltrán Leyva, who was killed by Mexican special forces in 2009, was said to be over the moon with this clever trick.
On Twitter, Mexico-based journalist and drug cartel expert Ioan Grillo described the revelation regarding "the world's biggest ever cocaine bust" as "mind-blowing".
Mexican authorities said more than 21,000 packages of cocaine were found aboard the ship in 2007.
At the time they hailed it as a sign of the government's "commitment to cripple drug lords and bring them to justice".
For the latest breaking news and stories from across the globe from the Daily Star, sign up for our newsletter by clicking here.
Cartel massacre fears as 47 sacks of human remains found buried under nightclub
El Chapo claims his 'teeth have been removed' as he's 'tortured' in US prison
'Drug cartel queen' caught after kidnapping family with her crime boss husband
Source: Read Full Article