Just in time for Valentine's Day: Cocaine roses

AMSTERDAM - A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but apparently not sweet enough to conceal the scent of cocaine.

Dutch customs officials say they have intercepted a shipment of the drug hidden among 20,000 long-stem roses flown to the Netherlands from Colombia in time for the St Valentine's Day holiday this week.

The National Prosecutor's office said yesterday that four kilograms of the narcotic were divided into small packages, wrapped in cellophane, and hidden in the cardboard boxes holding the roses.

Two Dutch suspects were arrested. Police found more of the boxes and drugs in searches of their homes and garages.

In all they uncovered 9 kilograms of highly purified cocaine with an estimated street value of €1.3 million (NZ$2.6 million).

- AP

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