UK Border Agency Seizes Record Cocaine Haul From Luxury Cruiser In Southampton
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The UK Border Agency has seized a record haul of cocaine, according to the Home Office.
More than 1.2 tons were found hidden in a pleasure cruiser at Southampton docks. The raid, which took place in June, found a stash of cocaine with 90 per cent purity, worth an estimated £300m.
Several men have been arrested in Holland and Belgium following the seizure. Speaking to The Huffington Post, a Home Office spokesperson said: “there have been no UK arrests so far. It looks as though it’s a Dutch operation.”
The cocaine, which originates from South America, was tracked by law enforcement agencies on the continent, as well as the UK Border Agency, from the British Virgin Isles.
It was hidden on board the luxury yacht, which itself was being transported by cargo ship to Southampton.
Despite the size of the haul, the biggest ever found in the UK, it took officers six days to locate the drugs, which were hidden behind a bathing panel.
Immigration minister Damian Green said: “This was a significant drugs seizure which was made possible by the co operation of our international partners. UK Border Agency staff have shown vigilance, dedication and determination to uncover this shipment.
“Our efforts have helped bring an international crime gang to book and the message is clear; we will investigate and prosecute anyone who tries to smuggle banned substances through UK borders.
“By keeping the border secure we play a key role in stopping drugs entering the UK and in reducing the harm they do to our communities. We aim to protect society from the violence and corruption that always accompanies the trade in illegal goods.”
Those currently arrested in connection with the seizure include a 60-year old man from the Dutch city of Meppel and his three sons.
A 66-year old man from the city of Den Bosch and two men aged from Amsterdam have also been detained. Firearms and €40,000 of cash were discovered during the arrests.
Yesterday, the US Coast Guard announced that it had recovered 7.5 tons of cocaine from a sunken submarine in the Caribbean.
The self-propelled semi-submersible was spotted off the Honduran coast in July. Five members of its crew were arrested.
The submarines, favoured by the drug cartels, are built in the Colombian jungle, can be up to 100 feet long and can carry up to 10 tons of cargo.
Police forces around the world face a constant battle to keep drugs off the streets. Much of it gets through, however sometimes they land a large haul. Here are some of the biggest seizures of recent years.