£3.3m of cocaine discovered in Portsmouth

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COCAINE with a street value of more than £3m has been found in Portsmouth.

The haul was concealed in one of the holds below the deck of a boat, which was off-loading containers of bananas and pineapples bound for the UK market.

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

Border Force officers discovered the packages of cocaine on the container vessel ‘Hope Bay’ which was docked at Flathouse Quay, at Portsmouth International Port, after arriving from Santa Marta, Colombia.

They were found on April 30, but details were kept under wraps while investigations continued.

The Dutch Customs were alerted of the detection in Portsmouth and carried out a search when the vessel arrived in Flushing, which resulted in the detection of more cocaine.

This time about 32 kilos was discovered and had a potential value of £3.2 million.

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.’