Cocaine with a street value of up to 50 million euros (£42m) has been discovered at a Coca-Cola plant in France.
The drugs report has it was hidden in bags amongst a delivery of orange juice concentrate which arrived in the country from South Africa.
The prosecutor of Toulon, Xavier Tarabeux, said the delivery “has a street value of 50 million euros” and referred to it as “a very bad surprise”. Employees at the Coca-Cola plant have been ruled out of any involvement as investigators attempt to trace the origin of the drug.
“The first elements of the investigation have shown that employees are in no way involved,” Jean-Denis Malgras, the regional president of Coca-Cola, told local news website Var-Matin. The original Coca-Cola formula, created in 1886 by US pharmacist John Pemberton, is believed to have contained traces of cocaine derived from coca leaf extract.
Investigation is however under way in Signes, a village in southern France.