5.7 tonnes of cocaine found in banana shipment marks UK’s “largest” drugs bust

today26/02/2024 5

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A shipment of around 5.7 tonnes of cocaine has been discovered in Southampton Port, marking the UK’s “largest ever” Class A drugs bust.

The UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) and Border Force made the seizure on Thursday, February 8, after the haul was found inside a banana shipment.

According to Metro, the haul would have been large enough to supply “every man, woman and child in the UK” twice over, racking up an enormous total of 114 million lines.

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The shipment was heading from South America and was suspected to reach Hamburg in Germany with a street value of £450 million, according to the NCA. Police are now looking to identify the people behind the shipment.

“This record-breaking seizure will represent a huge hit to the international organised crime cartels involved, denying them massive profits,” NCA Director Chris Farrimond said in a statement.

“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.”

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It’s believed to be the largest Class A bust in the UK following the discovery of a 3.7 tonne cocaine shipment in 2022, also in Southampton. An earlier bust was made in Scotland in 2015 worth a whopping £512 million at the time due to the difference in cocaine’s street value in Scotland.

“The NCA is targeting international networks upstream and overseas, disrupting and dismantling them at every step,” Farrimond said. “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.”

Gemma Ross is Mixmag’s Assistant Editor, follow her on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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