UK’S largest ever cocaine seizure – 5.7 tonnes price £450m present in bananas at Southampton | UK | News | EUROtoday

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AROUND 5.7 tonnes of cocaine – believed to be the most important ever seizure of sophistication A medicine within the UK and value about £450 million on the streets – was present in a container carrying bananas at Southampton Port.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) and Border Force made the large discovery.

Specialist Border Force officers had been known as in to hold out the search by the NCA, who recognized the cargo by way of it’s Near Europe Task Force.

The blocks of medication had been discovered hidden inside a cargo of bananas which had been transported from South America on February 8.

NCA officers consider the haul was heading to the Port of Hamburg in Germany for onward supply. Enquiries are ongoing with worldwide companions throughout Europe with a view to figuring out the felony networks concerned.

Based on UK street-level costs the cocaine would possible have had an estimated worth in extra of £450 million.

The earlier largest UK seizures noticed 3.7 tonnes of cocaine additionally discovered at Southampton in 2022, and three.2 tonnes discovered on-board the tug boat MV Hamal in Scotland in 2015.

The home cocaine market is dominated by felony gangs who the NCA consider to be making round £4 billion a yr within the UK alone.

Cocaine trafficking is intently linked to critical violence all through the availability chain, together with firearms and knife crime within the UK. The cocaine commerce has seen an exponential rise in related violence up to now few years.

NCA Director Chris Farrimond stated: “This record-breaking seizure will represent a huge hit to the international organised crime cartels involved, denying them massive profits. The work of the NCA was crucial to making it happen.

“While the destination for the consignment was continental Europe in this case, I have no doubt that a significant proportion would have ended up back here in the UK, being peddled by UK criminal gangs.

“The NCA is targeting international networks upstream and overseas, disrupting and dismantling them at every step. International law enforcement co-operation is essential to this mission.

“Working closely with UK partners like Border Force, we are determined to do all we can to protect the UK public.”

Minister for Legal Migration and the Border, Tom Pursglove MP, stated: “This government takes a zero-tolerance approach to the supply of illegal drugs, and I am grateful to dedicated Border Force officers and the NCA for their work to apprehend this record-breaking seizure.

“This seizure sends a clear message to criminals that they will be caught. Our Border Force officers continue to work relentlessly to protect our borders and ensure the safety and security of the public.”

The NCA’s Near Europe Task Force is a group funded by way of the Home Office Drug Strategy to give attention to the worldwide provide of medication, figuring out and disrupting offenders, and making it harder for organised felony teams to move medicine to the UK.