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Britain’s drug busters seize £450 million cocaine haul hidden in banana shipment.

Picture: NCA

Picture: National Crime Agency (NCA)

The largest ever haul of class-A-drugs worth more than £450 million has been found in a shipment of bananas.

Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA) and Border Force seized 5.7 tonnes of cocaine in a container bringing fruit from South Merica.


The drugs were heading on to Hamburg in Germany before hitting the European market.

Law officers found the dugs in a ship docked At Southampton.

Picture: NCA

An NCA spokesman said: “Enquiries are ongoing with international partners across Europe with a view to finding the criminal networks involved.

“Based on UK street-level prices the cocaine would likely have had an estimated value in excess of £450 million.”

Chris Farrimond, NCA director, said:

“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.”

Tom Pursglove, Minister of State for Legal Migration and the Border, said:

“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 added that the UK’s “coke” market was dominated by criminal gangs making around £4 billion a year.

An NCA spokesman said:

“Cocaine trafficking is linked to serious violence throughout the supply chain, including firearms and knife crime in the UK.

The cocaine trade has seen an exponential rise in associated violence in the past few years.”



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