Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


£6.5m of cocaine found on fruit ship headed for UK


Cocaine with a street value of £6.5 million has been found on a container ship bringing bananas and pineapples to the UK.

In a joint operation between the British Border Force and Dutch authorities, 33kg of the illegal drug was discovered on the vessel Hope Bay after it arrived at Portsmouth from Santa Marta in Colombia on April 30.

A further 32kg of cocaine, worth £3.2 million, was found when the ship underwent a further examination on arrival in Flushing, Holland, after Dutch authorities were tipped off by their British counterparts.

Andy Lumb, of Border Force, said: "The trade in illegal drugs and other banned substances is a worldwide 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."

Inquiries are ongoing by Border Force, and Dutch and French customs investigators.