London, United Kingdom – 

British police said Friday that they had made what is believed to be its biggest ever seizure of serious drugs.

The National Crime Agency said that 5.7 tonnes (5,700 kg) of cocaine were found in a container at the port of Southampton on England’s south coast on 8 February.

The drug haul was discovered hidden in a cargo of bananas which had been transported from South America, the agency said in a statement.

It had an estimated value of £450 million ($568 million) based on UK street prices, the NCA added.

Officers believe the drugs were heading to Hamburg in Germany “for onward delivery”, the statement said.

“This record-breaking seizure will represent a huge hit to the international organised crime cartels involved, denying them massive profits,” said NCA director Chris Farrimond.

The previous largest seizure of drugs in the UK was 3.7 tonnes of cocaine found in Southampton in 2022.

The NCA estimates that criminal gangs make around £4 billion a year from Britain’s illegal cocaine market.

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© Agence France-Presse

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