Cocaine with a likely U.K. street value in excess of £40 million (62.7m) has been found at the Port of Portsmouth within a shipment of bananas from Colombia, following an operation involving the U.K. National Crime Agency, Border Force and the Irish Garda.
Approximately 300 kilos of cocaine was seized following the search of the cargo vessel Star Stratos, Monday, December 1. The NCA says that investigations are continuing both in the U.K. and Ireland in conjunction with An Garda Síochána.
Deputy director Tom Dowdall, from the National Crime Agency’s Border Policing Command, said: “Working with our law enforcement partners in the U.K. and Ireland we have successfully prevented a huge quantity of what is likely to be very high purity cocaine reaching our streets. Our investigations into the organised crime groups likely to be responsible for this shipment continues.”
This is the second joint operation between the NCA and An Garda Síochána which has resulted in a huge cocaine seizure in less than three months.
In September around a tonne of cocaine was seized by the Irish Naval Service from the yacht Makayabella around 300 miles off the south west coast of Ireland.
The NCA has over 300 border investigators at major ports, investigating detections of drugs, firearms, cash and other non-fiscal crime made by Border Force. The Border Policing Command also has an extensive overseas network of around 120 officers covering over 150 countries around the world.