£184m worth of cocaine found in banana shipment

Cocaine Banana box; Police raid; London

British police intercepted 2.2 tonnes of cocaine worth £184 million smuggled in through a banana shipment from Colombia.

The shipment was seized in a police raid on an industrial estate in Tottenham.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) said this was one of the largest ever seizures of cocaine in the UK. Police footage shows fire officers kicking down the door before raiding the building, which contained several banana boxes.

Ten men, aged between 21 and 56, were arrested following the raid on Thursday.

Five men were held in custody after taking a delivery in the industrial estate, while another five were arrested at a different industrial estate in Enfield.

Even though the cocaine arrived on Saturday, the Border Officers removed the shipment at Portsmouth International Port on Sunday.

The NCA under the Organised Crime Partnership, said the cocaine’s street value could be £184m.

The Metropolitan Police Superintendent Simon Morning said: “This operation is a great example of partnership working between the Met, NCA and Border Force, which resulted in one of the UK’s biggest ever seizures of cocaine – around 2.3 tonnes.

“This significant seizure means that these dangerous drugs cannot reach the streets of London and beyond, where they have the potential to cause great harm to people and communities.

“Whilst these operations are complex and resource intensive, they are vital to disrupt organised criminal networks and to ensure we keep our communities safe.

“We know there is an inextricable link between drugs and violence – that is why tackling the importation and supply of drugs is a crucial part of our work to reduce violent crime in London.”

John Coles, head of specialist operations at the NCA, said: “The numbers here speak for themselves; this is a massive seizure which has denied organised criminals hundreds of millions in profits, and is the result of a targeted investigation conducted jointly by the NCA and Met Police.

“The NCA is focused on disrupting the organised crime groups posing the most significant risk to the UK, which includes those involved in class A drug supply.

“Illegal drugs are a corrosive threat and those who deal in cocaine are often violent and exploitative. Cocaine supply is directly linked to the use of firearms, knife crime and the exploitation of young and vulnerable people.”

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