Italian police dog with fine nose for cocaine sniffs out drugs hidden in banana shipment

ROME (AP) — Italian authorities say customs police and a dog with a fine nose for cocaine found more than 2,700 kilos (about 3 tons) of the drug hidden in 70 tons of boxed bananas shipped from Ecuador. Police estimated the cocaine could have brought traffickers more than 800 million euros ($900 million) in street sales if it had reached its ultimate destination in Armenia. Customs police at the southern port of Gioia Tauro became suspicious when a background check showed the banana shippers weren’t in the business of moving that much fruit. Officers used scanning machines and the dog named Joel to uncover packets of cocaine hidden in boxes already stacked meters-high in container trucks.