Police Seize £184 Million Of Cocaine Found In Shipment Of Bananas
Police have seized a whopping 2.3 tonnes of cocaine estimated to be worth around £184 million which smugglers attempted to bring into the UK in a banana shipment from Colombia.
The haul is believed to be the largest ever seizure in the UK and was found following a joint investigation between the Metropolitan Police and the National Crime Agency (NCA).
Armed police raided an industrial estate in Tottenham, London, on Thursday 18 February and found 41 pallets stacked with boxed of bananas - they arrested 10 men, aged between 21 and 56.
The cocaine had already been removed by Border Force officers at Portsmouth International Port the Sunday before.
The cocaine had arrived on a cargo ship from Colombia and was 'masquerading as a legitimate consignment of bananas'.
John Coles, head of specialist operations at the NCA, said: "The NCA is focused on disrupting the organised crime groups posing the most significant risk to the UK, which includes those involved in class A drug supply.
"Illegal drugs are a corrosive threat and those who deal in cocaine are often violent and exploitative. Cocaine supply is directly linked to the use of firearms, knife crime and the exploitation of young and vulnerable people," he said.
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"We work closely with domestic and international partners to target those at the top of the chain and ensure that transnational drug networks are met with a global response.
"Border Force is a key partner and were vital in preventing these drugs from being successfully trafficked into the country."
Detective superintendent Simon Moring from the Metropolitan Police added: "This operation is a great example of partnership working between the Met, NCA and Border Force, which resulted in one of the UK's biggest ever seizures of cocaine - around 2.3 tonnes.
"This significant seizure means that these dangerous drugs cannot reach the streets of London and beyond, where they have the potential to cause great harm to people and communities.
"Whilst these operations are complex and resource intensive, they are vital to disrupt organised criminal networks and to ensure we keep our communities safe.
"We know there is an inextricable link between drugs and violence - that is why tackling the importation and supply of drugs is a crucial part of our work to reduce violent crime in London."
Featured Image Credit: National Crime Agency
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