Drugs plot foiled

CUSTOMS officers today revealed they had foiled a plot to smuggle cocaine through the Port of Felixstowe.During a search of a 40-foot container, which arrived from Africa earlier this week, investigators found the Class A drug concealed among a consignment of furniture.

CUSTOMS officers today revealed they had foiled a plot to smuggle cocaine through the Port of Felixstowe.

During a search of a 40-foot container, which arrived from Africa earlier this week, investigators found the Class A drug concealed among a consignment of furniture.

The street value of the powder, which weighed one kilo, is around £60,000.

Investigations are still on-going in a bid to trace who was responsible for the attempted importation and where the cocaine was destined for.

The container was offloaded from a ship after arriving from Ghana.

Before officers checked the load on Tuesday afternoon, a high-tech probe was inserted into the container to ensure there were no banned or potentially dangerous gases.

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After establishing it was safe, a specially-trained sniffer dog was sent in to roam around the consignment of handicrafts and cane furniture packed inside.

However, despite its search nothing untoward was found.

When the drugs' dog left the container, officers conducted a further search.

It was then they discovered the package, which was concealed at the far end of the container.

Customs' sources believe the drug runners hoped officers would give up before getting that far if the consignment was searched.

A package wrapped in cellophane and brown plastic was eventually found in a wicker-type basket between two cushions.

Initially officers believed it was likely to be cannabis from the way it was packed.

However when it was opened it was immediately evident the contents were likely to be cocaine. Subsequent testing has proved the suspicions were correct.

Anyone with information relating to smuggled goods should contact HMRC's confidential hotline number on 0800 59 5000 or e-mail customs.confidential@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk

N Have you or a member of your family been affected by drugs? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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