It’s the second-largest shipment of cocaine to be discovered at London Gateway in the space of two months
A tonne of cocaine that is worth an estimated price of £100 million has been found concealed within a shipment of banana pulp, the Home Office said.
The illicit drugs had been found during an inspection at the London Gateway depot in the county of Essex last month, hidden within a shipping container that was docked at the port.
Authorities had found a total of 1,060 kilograms of the drug cocaine, that was thought to have been put in with the cargo in Columbia and intended to arrive in Antwerp, Belgium.
This comes after the crew onboard an oil tanker which was involved in a suspected hijacking off the Isle of Wight are now safe, after a swift response from the SBS. Seven people were detained following about 16 Special Boat Service (SBS) commandos boarding the Nave Andromeda on Sunday night in order to regain control of the vessel.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “Drugs fuel criminality and destroy lives.”
“Class A drugs such as cocaine inflict unimaginable damage onto our citizens and communities, shattering lives and stoking obscene levels of violence, disorder and crime.”
“This significant seizure of drugs sends a stark message to criminals in the UK and abroad seeking to smuggle drugs into or through the UK: you will not succeed and we will use every inch of our law enforcement powers to track down and stop drugs from coming into the UK.”
The discovery, that occurred on the 12th of November, marks the second-largest shipment of cocaine to be discovered at the port in Essex within the space of just two months.
In September, Border Force National Deep Rummage Team officers found 1,155 kilograms of cocaine within a shipment of paper, a shipment that was also bound for the city of Antwerp.
The National Crime Agency (NCA) is currently investigating the discoveries to identify those who are involved in these crimes, though the two shipments are not currently believed to have been linked.
This comes after the UK government is set to go ahead with Brexit legislation that could potentially break international law, despite fears that this could upset the EU at a critical time for post-Brexit trade talks.
NCA branch commander Jacque Beer said:
“These were substantial seizures and will represent a significant hit to the organised crime groups involved, meaning less profit for them to reinvest.”
“While the UK wasn’t the end destination for either shipment, it is likely that at least a proportion would have ended up being sold on our streets.”
“The NCA is working with law enforcement partners in the UK, in Europe and worldwide to target the criminal networks behind drug trafficking and disrupt their activities.”