Cocaine imports - charges expected

CHARGES were expected to be brought today in connection with a £40m drugs consignment which was imported through Felixstowe.In an operation between Suffolk customs officers and their counterparts in Manchester more than 600lbs of cocaine worth £40m was discovered in components of a shipment of heavy plant machinery.

By Colin Adwent

CHARGES were expected to be brought today in connection with a £40m drugs consignment which was imported through Felixstowe.

In an operation between Suffolk customs officers and their counterparts in Manchester more than 600lbs of cocaine worth £40m was discovered in components of a shipment of heavy plant machinery.

The consignment arrived at the port on November 13.

Officers allowed the drugs to be moved to their destination and six arrests were made after a raid on an industrial estate in Wolverhampton on Thursday night.

HM Customs in Felixstowe have vowed to keep battling drug smugglers after the second massive seizure in the past two months.

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The first seizure involved cocaine worth £50m.

Combined the two operations netted over a tonne of the Class A drug.

The seizures had a combined street value of around £90million and the busts – the largest in Britain this year – resulted in ten arrests.

The first operation took place at the start of October. Customs officers at the Suffolk port examined a container that was found to have half a tonne of cocaine hidden inside.

A joint initiative with the Scottish Drug Enforcement Agency saw the drugs replaced with a dummy load and four Scotsmen were followed covertly and were arrested when they got to Lanarkshire.

John Barber, a spokesman for Customs and Excise at Felixstowe, said: "The success of the operations have been down to the professionalism of our people who are using technology and intelligence to target the right containers as they come into the country.

"We are extremely pleased that we have been able to seize these very large shipment and keep such a large amount of drugs off the street."

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