£10 Million Worth Of Cocaine Found Underwater Off Kent Coast By Divers

Cocaine that is estimated to be worth about £10 million has reportedly been seized once it was found hidden deep within a container vessel at a port based in Kent.

The drugs, which weighed 137 kg, were discovered on a Panamanian-registered vessel that was loaded with bananas.

Cocaine
Credit: nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk

They had reportedly been placed in four huge holdalls that were kept hidden under the water line in the sea chest, an intake zone for seawater to aid stability.

The vessel was destined for the Netherlands, but based on information provided by the NCA, expert teams searched once the vessel had docked at the Sheerness Port on 14 October.

A unit associated with the specialist Metropolitan Police Dive Unit needed almost five hours to recover drugs after it had carried out a thorough underwater search of the vessel’s hull in lowered visibility.

The cocaine was discovered behind the bolted-up grills.

Officers associated with the team of Border Force National Deep Rummage and relevant officials from the port operator dubbed Peel Ports were involved in this operation.

The cocaine is most likely to hold a UK street value above £10 million once it’s cut and sold.

It’s one of two concealments of underwater class A drugs of its kind to ever be found in the UK, the last case being in Bristol in 2021 (November) when 46 kgs of cocaine were found.

David Phillips, the NCA Operations Manager, said that this was a rare and highly sophisticated concealment and reflects how far the criminal networks can go to access dangerous drugs such as cocaine into wider circulation.

The sale of similar class A drugs is typically controlled and supervised by gangs that inflict violence and exploitation in communities.

NCA investigators strongly believe the final destination for drugs was most likely to have been the Netherlands and are working with law enforcement collaborators there and those in Panama.

Stephen Whitton, the Deputy Director associated with the Border Force Maritime Command, mentioned that the joint efforts of the Met Police, NCA, and Border Force have been able to prevent cocaine worth about £10 million from plaguing streets and nearby countries.

The Border Force remains committed to working 24/7 to intercept existing drug supply chains and is going to continue collaborating with counterparts to prevent and identify new methods the criminals adopt for smuggling illegal drugs in/outside the UK.

 

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Marine Insight News Network is a premier source for up-to-date, comprehensive, and insightful coverage of the maritime industry. Dedicated to offering the latest news, trends, and analyses in shipping, marine technology, regulations, and global maritime affairs, Marine Insight News Network prides itself on delivering accurate, engaging, and relevant information.

About Author

Marine Insight News Network is a premier source for up-to-date, comprehensive, and insightful coverage of the maritime industry. Dedicated to offering the latest news, trends, and analyses in shipping, marine technology, regulations, and global maritime affairs, Marine Insight News Network prides itself on delivering accurate, engaging, and relevant information.

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