Cocaine worth pounds 50m seized

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The Independent Online
AN ATTEMPT by Colombian drugs barons to set up a major network in the UK was foiled yesterday with the seizure of cocaine worth pounds 50m hidden in flowers, Customs and Excise officials said.

Armed police and customs officers swooped on a warehouse in Manchester, where about a quarter of a ton of the drug was being stored, and arrested two Colombians.

The arrests were the result of a four-month investigation, coincidentally code-named Begonia.

The drugs were in six boxes among a legitimate consignment of fresh flowers flown into Manchester airport.

The 550lbs of cocaine was believed to have come from the Calli cartel of Colombian drug smugglers and had been flown in through Amsterdam.