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Cocaine Stash Worth £80m Washes Up On Beach In UK

Cocaine Stash Worth £80m Washes Up On Beach In UK

Almost a tonne of the Class A drug was found attached to life jackets

Jake Massey

Jake Massey

A cocaine stash estimated to be worth around £80 million ($113 million) has washed up on UK shores.

Two separate consignments of packages were located on beaches near Hastings and Newhaven in East Sussex yesterday (Monday 24 May).

They were spotted by passers-by in waterproof bags attached to life jackets, to make them float.

The drugs are believed to have arrived from South America.

Samples taken from the packages have tested positive for cocaine and a full forensic examination will now be carried out.

The total weight of the haul is approximately 960 kilos, which would have had an estimated street value of around £80 million if cut and sold on the streets in the UK, according to the National Crime Agency (NCA).

Martin Grace, NCA Branch Commander, said: "This is a significant amount of Class A drugs which we think originated in South America, but we are keeping an open mind about how the drugs washed up here and where the end destination might have been.

"Clearly though losing a consignment of this size this will represent a significant hit to the criminal networks involved.

"Our investigation is being assisted by both Sussex Police and Border Force, and is also likely to involve international partners."

The NCA is investigating the haul.

In January, a haul of cocaine just 14 kilos lighter was found hidden among bananas at the Port of Southampton.

The drugs were found hidden among bananas on a commercial vessel and were thought to have been placed inside the banana boxes in Colombia, with the shipment bound for Antwerp, Belgium.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: "This was drug smuggling on an industrial scale so I'm delighted that Border Force officers have prevented such a large quantity of dangerous goods from reaching our streets.

"Drugs devastate communities, line the pockets of serious criminals, and are a serious driver of the violence which ruin young lives right across the country.

"We are sending a strong signal to criminals in the UK and abroad seeking to smuggle drugs into or through the UK: your efforts will fail and we will use every part of our law enforcement powers to stop drugs from coming into the UK."

The cocaine was discovered after officers noticed a number of anomalies within the cargo during a routine inspection.

Tim Kingsberry, a regional director for Border Force, said: "This significant seizure has removed a large amount of dangerous drugs from the streets, which not only reduces the significant harm they cause to communities but also makes a huge dent in the profits of smugglers."

Featured Image Credit: NCA

Topics: UK News, Cocaine, crime, Drugs