US Authorities Seize 'One Of The Biggest Cocaine Shipments In 25 Years'
American authorities have seized 'one of the biggest cocaine shipments in a quarter of a century', according to AP.
More than 1.6 tons of the white stuff was intercepted at Port New York/Newark before it was supposed to make its way to London and the Netherlands. The haul has an estimated street value of £58 million ($77 million).
A seizure this big hasn't been seen at the ports since 1994.
The shipment came from Puerto Buenaventura in Colombia and was only inspected when customs authorities noticed the container seal had been broken.
When they X-rayed it, they realised they were looking at a humungous cocaine haul.
DEA Special Agent in Charge Ray Donovan said: "Cocaine, New York's nemesis of the 90's, is back, indicating traffickers push to build an emerging customer base of users mixing cocaine with fentanyl.
"This record breaking seizure draws attention to this new threat and shows law enforcement's collaborative efforts in seizing illicit drugs before it gets to the streets and into users' hands."
Local media reports the container was listed as having dried fruit, but authorities found 60 bags of the illicit substance hidden inside. Each bag contained about 20 to 25kgs of cocaine.
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Dave Hucker, regional head of operations for the NCA, said: "This is a significant international seizure made possible by our partnerships with law enforcement in the US, and taking this amount of cocaine out of circulation will be a massive hit for the organised crime group involved.
"While this seizure was made on the other side of the Atlantic there is no doubt in my mind that a proportion of these drugs would have ended up on the streets of the UK.
"We know there are direct links between drug distribution and street violence, intimidation and exploitation in UK towns and cities.
"These kind of seizures demonstrate the role the NCA plays in preventing that."
This follows another massive cocaine haul by Italian authorities in two separate stings last month. In total, a whopping 2.5 tons was discovered in duffle bags from South America, headed to Barcelona.
But instead of just seizing the drugs when they arrived in Italy, the crafty police officers replaced the bags with salt and sent the shipment to its intended destination in Spain.
From there they nabbed the recipients to gain further insights to how traffickers get the illicit substance past their noses.
Euronews reports the 'Gulf Clan', a Colombian drug cartel, was responsible for sending the shipment. It first went to Honduras before being transferred to two ships in Costa Rica and then made its way to Europe.
Featured Image Credit: US Customs and Border Patrol
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