UK markets open in 3 hours 43 minutes
  • NIKKEI 225

    28,786.90
    -77.42 (-0.27%)
     
  • HANG SENG

    28,708.93
    -389.36 (-1.34%)
     
  • CRUDE OIL

    67.41
    +1.32 (+2.00%)
     
  • GOLD FUTURES

    1,702.80
    +4.30 (+0.25%)
     
  • DOW

    31,496.30
    +572.20 (+1.85%)
     
  • BTC-GBP

    36,523.55
    +408.79 (+1.13%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    1,020.72
    +77.55 (+8.22%)
     
  • ^IXIC

    12,920.15
    +196.65 (+1.55%)
     
  • ^FTAS

    3,771.73
    -20.36 (-0.54%)
     

Border Force officers seize almost a tonne of cocaine worth £76m hidden among bananas

Zoe Tidman
·2-min read
Cocaine with a potential street value of around £76m was discovered hidden in a cargo of bananas at the Port of Southampton (PA)
Cocaine with a potential street value of around £76m was discovered hidden in a cargo of bananas at the Port of Southampton (PA)

Nearly one tonne of cocaine has been discovered in a shipment of bananas in Southampton.

It had an estimated street value of £76m, according to the Home Office.

Officials seized the cocaine after it was discovered in a shipment of bananas bound for Europe, the department said.

Border Force officers discovered the cocaine - weighing a total of 946kg - after identifying “anomalies” with the cargo in the container at Southampton port.

It was suspected to have been placed in the cargo in Colombia and was bound for Antwerp in Belgium.

The class A drug was discovered onboard a ship during a routine inspection.

“This significant seizure has removed a large amount of dangerous drugs from the streets, which not only reduces the significant harm they cause to communities but also makes a huge dent in the profits of smugglers,” Tim Kingsberry, regional director for Border Force South, said.

Priti Patel, the home secretary, said it was “drug smuggling on an industrial scale”.

“I'm delighted that Border Force officers have prevented such a large quantity of dangerous goods from reaching our streets,” she said.

The home secretary added: "We are sending a strong signal to criminals in the UK and abroad seeking to smuggle drugs into or through the UK - your efforts will fail and we will use every part of our law enforcement powers to stop drugs from coming into the UK."

The discovery in Southampton comes the month after over a tonne of cocaine was found hidden in a shipment of banana pulp at London Gateway port.

The class A drugs were concealed in the cargo in Colombia and were heading for the Netherlands.

Over in Canada this month, authorities said more than 20 bricks of cocaine hidden in banana shipments had ended up being delivered to grocery stores in a bungled drug-trafficking operation.

Additional reporting by Press Association

Read More

‘Cocaine bananas’ accidentally shipped to grocers in bungled drug deal

Russia in cooperation with US seizes 330kg of cocaine

Over a tonne of cocaine found in banana shipment at London port