Coke-a Cola left red-faced after 370kg of cocaine found in French factory

Francesca Washtell
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Coca-Cola contained cocaine in its original recipe (Source: Getty)

The Coca-Cola Company has been left red-faced today after a huge stash of cocaine was found in one of its factories in the south of France.

Employees found the stash of the white stuff, weighing 370kg, in a delivery of orange juice concentrate from Costa Rica at a site belonging to one of its subsidiaries.

The sacks of cocaine had been hidden in a shipping container before being transported to the town of Signes, near Marseille.

Local newspaper Ver-Matin quoted prosecutor Xavier Tarabeux, who said the stash has a market value of €50m (£42m).

Read more: Coca-Cola sales fall flat on low Chinese and Latin American demand

"A very bad surprise," said the boss of the local Coca-Cola subsidiary, Jean-Denis Malgras.

The news has prompted jokes in the Twittersphere as to whether or not Coca-Cola is returning to its roots - the original recipe by pharmacist John Pemberton included cocaine-producing coca leaves.

"We can confirm that authorities confiscated narcotics placed in a shipment of orange juice concentrate that arrived at the Coca-Cola facility in Signes, France, on 26 August," a spokesperson for Coca-Cola said.

"Coca-Cola immediately contacted the Gendarmerie Nationale and is cooperating fully with the investigation. No associates are believed to be involved in the drug shipment."

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