The UK’s biggest ever seizure of cocaine has been found on board a Dutch-registered motorboat in Southampton, the Home Office has revealed

A huge haul of 1.2-tonnes of 90 per cent pure cocaine with a street value of up to £300m has been found in the bathing platform of a motorboat.

The find was made two months ago when the Dutch-registered vessel Louise made a scheduled stop in Southampton after first arousing suspicions when it was in the Caribbean.

On arrival in Southampton the boat was intercepted by the UK Border Agency, which spent six days searching the vessel before the haul was found.

View video from the Home Office on the haul

The seizure formed part of an operation with the Dutch police, acting on intelligence provided by the Serious Organised Crime Agency, and in close cooperation with the French customs investigation service.

Yesterday several men were arrested in the Netherlands and Belgium in connection with the operation.

Immigration Minister Damian Green said, “This was a significant drugs seizure, which was made possible by the cooperation of our international partners. UK Border Agency staff have shown vigilance, dedication and determination to uncover this shipment.

“Our efforts have helped bring an international crime gang to book and the message is clear; we will investigate and prosecute anyone who tries to smuggle banned substances through UK borders.”


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