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Cocaine worth £15.2m seized by Border Force in Thurrock

The drugs were discovered last week (credit: Border Force)

Cocaine worth more than £15 million has been seized by Border Force officials in Thurrock.

The drugs were found on Monday, 13 July, concealed underneath the floor of a container that was carrying a load of bananas.

The container had been shipped from Costa Rica and was in transit to Germany, but Border Force officers received intelligence about the container and decided to search it.

An x-ray scan identified “an anomaly” with the floor, and officers then discovered a cavity which contained blocks of cocaine weighing a total of 380kg.

Border Force Assistant Director Pete Roffey said: “This was a sophisticated concealment and one that is rarely seen in the UK. The smugglers had cut the inner floor, raised it, removed and scraped out the insulation, packed in the drugs and then welded the inner floor back in place. They had left relatively little evidence that the container had been tampered with.”

It took 19 hours for officers to recover all of the drugs, which have an estimated street value of £15.2 million.

The seizure has now been referred to the National Crime Agency.

Minister for Immigration Compliance and the Courts Chris Philp said: “Illegal drugs have a significant impact on our society, being the root cause behind countless burglaries, thefts and robberies. They are also used as a commodity by organised criminals linked to violence and exploitation of the vulnerable.

“This is just one example of the crucial work that Border Force officers do every day to help keep the UK safe. Detections of dangerous Class A drugs such as this are testament to their dedication and expertise.”

For more on this story, and the latest on our other local and national news, listen to Time 107.5FM

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