Cocaine worth £40m found hidden in Colombian banana shipment at Essex port
The drugs were found at Thames port on a boat en route from Colombia to the Netherlands. NCA investigators had identified that the consignment was destined for the Netherlands, but it was intercepted on Tuesday 26 July (Photo: NCA)
National Crime Agency officers last week discovered more than half a tonne of cocaine worth £40 million found hidden in a Colombian banana shipment at Essex port, media reports said.
Investigators intercepted a boat containing drugs from Colombia to the Netherlands at the London Gateway port in Thurrock.
Officers said that cocaine slabs were found wedged alongside bananas in cardboard boxes.
NCA claimed that the seizure was a huge setback for drug peddlers. It worked with Border Force to seize the huge stash of drugs.
Adam Berry, NCA branch operations manager, said: “Taking out a consignment of this size will have been a huge blow to the criminal network involved in this shipment, preventing them from making millions of pounds that would have been invested in further criminality. Class A drugs are peddled by gangs involved in violence and exploitation in our communities.”
“The NCA works hard with partners to stop drugs getting that far, and making seizures like this demonstrate how we can break that link between international drug cartels and street-level dealers,” he told reporters.
Four months ago, a cocaine haul happened in Southampton. Those were also hidden within batches of bananas.
The shipment was also from Colombia and was worth £302m. British home secretary Priti Patel termed it the “largest seizure of cocaine in the UK since 2015”.