UK: Record drugs haul seized from pleasure cruiser

UK: A record �300 million haul of cocaine has been seized from a pleasure cruiser at Southampton docks and six alleged members of an international drugs gang have been arrested, officials said today.

It is the biggest haul of Class A drugs ever found in the UK, officials from the UK Border Agency (UKBA) and the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) said.

French authorities were alerted to the suspicious �1 million craft Louise while it was in the Caribbean in May and it was then tracked to Southampton, on its way to Holland.

Officials spent six days searching the vessel and found the drugs packed in a specially-designed compartment beneath the boat’s bathing platform.

It is understood the cocaine, which originated in South America, was packed inside the boat while it was in Venezuela.

The drug was 90 per cent pure, while the average purity of cocaine seized at the UK border is just 63%, officials said.

The haul is estimated to be worth between �50 million wholesale and �300 million on the streets.

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