By Oisin Sweeney • 23 January 2021 • 9:23
The huge cocaine shipment is believed to have been en route to Belgium from Colombia - Image Source: Twitter
AUTHORITIES in the UK port city of Southampton have seized nearly a tonne of cocaine stashed in a banana shipment bound for Europe.
The cocaine, which the Home Office claims has a street value of £76 million (€85 million), was discovered by officers when they found “anomalies” in the banana shipment passing through Southampton’s busy port.
The banana shipment was packed with the Class A drug, with the Home Office saying the haul amounted to 946 kilograms – almost a tonne. It is believed that the shipment originated in Colombia and was bound for the European drug hot spot of Antwerp, Belgium.
Priti Patel, the home secretary, said it was “drug smuggling on an industrial scale”, adding that she was “delighted that Border Force officers have prevented such a large quantity of dangerous goods from reaching our streets.”
Patel asserted that “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.”
One month ago another tonne of cocaine was discovered in London’s Gateway port, also stashed in bananas, en route to the Netherlands. The Low Countries are one of Europe’s main ports of entry for drugs into Europe, with huge consignments regularly passing through the UK on their journey to continental gangs.
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Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...
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