Cocaine Worth £3.3m Seized In Portsmouth

Close co-operation between Border Force officers and their counterparts in the Netherlands and France has led to 65 kilos of cocaine being seized in Portsmouth and Holland.

Although the first haul of drugs were found on 30 April, the details have only just been released (Friday 25th May) after joint working with Dutch law enforcement.

Officers from Border Force's National Deep Rummage Team discovered the packages of cocaine on the container vessel Hope Bay which was docked at Flat House Quay, Portsmouth, after arriving from Santa Marta, Colombia, on 30th April.

The haul was hidden in one of the holds below the deck of the boat, as they off-loaded containers of bananas and pineapples bound for the UK market.

The drugs weighed approximately 33 kilos and are estimated to have had a potential value of approximately £3.3 million when cut and sold on the street.

Dutch Customs were then told about the find in Portsmouth and carried out a search when the vessel arrived in Flushing, which resulted in the detection of more cocaine.

This seizure weighed approximately 32 kilos and estimated to have had a potential value of £3.2 million. Enquiries are ongoing by Border Force, the Dutch Customs and French Customs Investigations Service, the DNRED.

Andy Lumb, of Border Force, said:

"The trade in illegal drugs and other banned substances is a world-wide problem and one that requires close partnership between law enforcement agencies across borders.

"As this detection shows, our officers are on constant alert, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to keep drugs, other smuggled goods and illegal persons out of the UK.

"We are determined to prevent this terrible trade which can have such a destructive impact on the lives of so many."

Anyone with information about activity they suspect may be linked to drug smuggling can call the smuggling hotline on 0800 59 5000.