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Tonne Of Cocaine 'Worth £100 Million' Found In Banana Shipment

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Tonne Of Cocaine 'Worth £100 Million' Found In Banana Shipment

Police have uncovered a tonne of cocaine, estimated to be worth around £100 million, hidden in a banana pulp shipment.

Border Force officers found the enormous haul, which weighed 1,060 kilograms, hiding in a shipping container during a routine inspection at the London Gateway port last month.

According to reports, the cargo had originated in Colombia and was eventually due to arrive in Antwerp, Beligum.

The incredible discovery was made on 12 November and marks the second biggest drugs bust at the port in Essex in just the last two months.

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Speaking about the find, Home Secretary Priti Patel said it was vital that these drugs were taken out of the supply chain, undoubtedly saving lives.

She said: "Drugs fuel criminality and destroy lives.

The drugs were reportedly found during a routine inspection. Credit: PA
The drugs were reportedly found during a routine inspection. Credit: PA

"Class A drugs such as cocaine inflict unimaginable damage on to our citizens and communities, shattering lives and stoking obscene levels of violence, disorder and crime.

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"This significant seizure of drugs sends a stark message to criminals in the UK and abroad seeking to smuggle drugs into or through the UK: you will not succeed and we will use every inch of our law enforcement powers to track down and stop drugs from coming into the UK."

This comes a few weeks after Border Force National Deep Rummage Team officers discovered another batch of cocaine, this time weighing 1,155 kilograms, in a shipment of paper also set for Antwerp.

The two shipments are not thought to be linked, but the National Crime Agency (NCA) is investigating both thoroughly.

Speaking at the time of the first find, NCA branch commander Jacque Beer said it's likely the drugs seized were bound for the continent's streets.

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He said: "These were substantial seizures and will represent a significant hit to the organised crime groups involved, meaning less profit for them to reinvest.

It's understood the cocaine is worth £100m. Credit: PA
It's understood the cocaine is worth £100m. Credit: PA

"While the UK wasn't the end destination for either shipment, it is likely that at least a proportion would have ended up being sold on our streets.

"The NCA is working with law enforcement partners in the UK, in Europe and worldwide to target the criminal networks behind drug trafficking and disrupt their activities."

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Back in October, police in Northern Ireland launched an appeal for information after suspected cannabis worth an estimated £1m (€1.1 million) fell off a lorry onto the motorway.

Cops said the bags had been strapped onto the roof of a horse box-type vehicle that shed its load on the M1 in south Belfast.

At the time, officers from Police Service Northern Ireland Organised Crime Unit urged anyone with any information about the 'significant' find to come forward.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Police, Cocaine, crime, Drugs

Dominic Smithers
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