huge blow | 

Custom officers inspecting wood cargo seize cocaine worth massive €117m

It is the latest in a series of huge caches of drugs being shipped from South America to Europe by gangs including the Kinahan Cartel

The seized cocaine

Eamon DillonSunday World

A massive 1,500 kilo haul of cocaine worth €117 million has been seized by customs officers inspecting a cargo of wood.

The shipping container had come from Chile and was destined for a firm in The Netherlands when uncovered at Rotterdam Port today.

The Public Prosecution Service stated the 26 bales of cocaine have already been destroyed after being inspected and documented.

It is the latest in a series of huge caches of drugs being shipped from South America to Europe by criminal gangs including the Kinahan Cartel.

Last week Dutch authorities uncovered 60 kilos of cocaine hidden in bags of fruit which had also come from Chile and worth €4.5 million.

Earlier this month another consignment of cocaine on the way to The Netherlands was seized by the authorities in the UK.

Officers from the National Crime Agency and from Border Force seized more than half a ton of cocaine at London Gateway port.

The drugs were found in a consignment of bananas that had been shipped by boat to the UK from Colombia, according the NCA.

The haul would have had a UK street level value of more than £40 million once cut and sold.

There have been a series of major cocaine seizures by Dutch officials at their ports in the last two years.

As well as the seizure by the NCA in the same week customs intercepted 475 kilos of cocaine in the port of Rotterdam in two separate seizures, worth €35 million.

One cache was found in 10 large bundles containing a total of 300 packages of cocaine in a container loaded with waste material from Colombia.

In the other customs officials found 175 kilograms of cocaine in a container loaded with makeup accessories from Panama.

In one four-week period in April and May Dutch customs at Rotterdam seized 5,600 kilos of cocaine worth €436 million.

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