Agents in Algeciras found almost six tonnes of the drug stashed in banana boxes aboard the Banak, a container ship arriving from Medellin.
The drug traffickers had concealed over 5,000 bundles of cocaine within one of six containers in a consignment of bananas. The ship, which sailed to the southern port of Algeciras, was carrying bananas from Colombia and its ultimate destination was El Prat de Lobregac, the area where Catalonia's global airport is located, the ministry said.
The port of the Bay of Algeciras, one of the largest in Spain, annually moves nearly five million containers, making the work of analysis and control very hard.
Three individuals were arrested in connection with the discovery, including the head of the fruit and vegetable importer that had ordered the consignment.
A Spanish national, who was in charge of the import department of the company using the container, and two supposed accomplices, one from Honduras and another from Portugal, were detained, while two more suspects are under investigation.
Police have not revealed what raised their suspicion about the shipment but after unsuccessfully searching two containers, the third one they opened yielded the cocaine.
This is the second largest ever seizure of cocaine by Spanish authorities.
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