Border Force smashes UK cocaine smuggling route
A multimillion-pound cocaine smuggling route between South America and the UK has been smashed, the Border Force has said.
Officers believe they have closed down an important supply route through Immingham, North East Lincolnshire, after a series of large finds of the drug worth around £6.5 million in total.
The cocaine was all found hidden in loads of coal on bulk vessels that had travelled from Puerto Prodeco, in Colombia.
Seizures have been made on three different vessels in the last three months.
A spokesman said 20kg (45lbs) was found on the ER Borneo on June 2, 45kg (99lbs) on the CSK Glory on August 13, and 8kg (17.6lbs) on the MV Frontier Island on August 27.
He said that on each occasion the ships were raided by specially trained officers from the Border Force Deep Rummage Team, who found the drugs.
Sam Bullimore, from Border Force, said: "This was a significant smuggling route and these seizures will put a major dent in the profits of the criminal gang behind this specific plot.
"This success sends a clear message about the strength of the UK Border. Our expert Border Force officers use the latest technology and are supported by specialist Deep Rummage teams to make life as tough as possible for those involved in this evil activity.
"Cocaine destroys lives. Smuggling drugs is a vile trade that profits from the misery of others. We will continue to work closely with partner law enforcement agencies, both in the UK and abroad, to clamp down on the criminals involved."
No arrests have been made in connection with the seizures at this stage, but investigations are continuing, the Border Force said.
It said all the drugs will now be destroyed.
The Border Force said it has four National Deep Rummage Teams (NDRTs) which are based at Liverpool, Immingham, Felixstowe and Southampton, but operate across the UK.
The central base is in Liverpool where the teams operate their training vessel, the Altea.
NDRT Officers are able to board vessels as they tie up, and they can impose controls and perform detailed searches.
Emergency landing at Heathrow sparks further controversy over London airport capacity
Unrest may spread across Europe, warns Red Cross chief
French government seeks to ban extreme right-wing group
BNP and EDL accused of attempt to fuel racial hatred after Woolwich terror attack
You want to get an Eton scholarship? All you need to do is answer four (not so simple) questions
- 1 What, let gays get married? We must be bonkers
- 2 'Something passed underneath us, quite close': Airbus A320 has close encounter with UFO
- 3 Rocky Horror star Tim Curry 'suffers major stroke'
- 4 Exclusive: How MI5 blackmails British Muslims
- 5 Lord of the Sings: Sir Christopher Lee, 91, to release heavy metal album
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.