Cornish drugs puzzle

Holidaymakers exploring the coves of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have stumbled across cocaine and cannabis worth more than a million pounds in the past 12 months, writes Martin Jackson.

Last week, a walker on Rusey beach, near Boscastle, Cornwall, came across a plastic-wrapped package containing 50 kg of cannabis worth about pounds 180,000 at street prices.

On 11 September last year a similar package was found on Pendower beach, south Cornwall. A search by Customs and police later uncovered cannabis worth nearly pounds 2m hidden in rocks.

On 8 May, a waterproof package the size of a brick containing cocaine worth up to pounds 200,000 was washed up at Chapelporth, north Cornwall. Over the next month, two parcels of cocaine were found on the Isles of Scilly.

These were handed in to police. But both the Drug Squad and Customs officers agree that other finds may have been sold on.

A customs spokesman said they were mystified by the sudden surge in beach discoveries. 'There's nothing to link the individual finds. The cocaine packages had all been floating in the sea for some time, and could have drifted across the Atlantic or dumped overboard. The cannabis may have been dropped by smugglers unloading it.'