Police in Germany announced Thursday that they had seized a record amount of heroin with a street value estimated at $63 million, reports said. The illicit cargo was hidden in a shipment of pickles and garlic from Iran.
The heroin was discovered on Sept. 22 in the northwestern city of Essen, Germany, the New York Times reports. It weighed in at 330 kilograms, or about 728 pounds – a total greater than all the heroin confiscated by German authorities in 2013.
Authorities waited to announce the record heroin bust due to ongoing investigation, Federal Criminal Police Office spokeswoman Marianne Falasch said. German police suspect that the heroin belonged to a Syrian-Iraqi crime syndicate that has habitually hidden drugs in vegetable shipments. However, authorities would not specify where the drugs originated, the Associated Press reports.
Two brothers from Syria were arrested in connection with the record heroin seizure. A third suspect, purportedly a Dutch citizen, was taken into custody in Belgium.
Iran's population has the world's highest rate of heroin addiction, the Economist notes.