File Photo - Four suspects will appear in the Mokopane Magistrates Court on charges of possession and dealing in cocaine.

Sofia - Bulgarian customs officers seized 67 kilograms of cocaine destined for the Netherlands at the main Danube port of Ruse, in northern Bulgaria, the customs agency said on Sunday.

The drugs, seized overnight and worth over 100 million leva (about R520 million), were divided into 66 packages hidden in special compartments of a harvesting machine, transported on board a container ship to Ruse from the Black Sea port of Varna.

“The drugs came from Argentina and had passed unnoticed via Antwerp, Istanbul and Varna,” Ruse regional prosecutor Ognyan Basarboliev was quoted as saying by state BTA news agency.

“They were only caught in checks at Ruse before being loaded onto a ship to Rotterdam.”

Bulgaria has traditionally been a major crossroads on the so-called Balkan heroin drug trafficking route to Europe.

But it is also slowly becoming a transit point for cocaine smuggling, a US State Department official said recently in Sofia. - Sapa-AFP