Record 4.5 Tonnes of Cocaine Worth Approx. €1 Billion Seized at Hamburg Port

August 05: Customs officers in Germany have seized a record 4.5 tonnes of cocaine estimated to be worth €1 billion ($1.12 billion) that had been brought into the country via the northern port city of Hamburg.

The huge haul, the largest of its kind ever discovered in the country, was found after border officials carried out a search of a suspicious shipping container that had arrived at the port from Uruguay, and was due to be shipped onto the Belgian city of Antwerp.

Labelled as carrying soybeans, the container was instead found during an inspection to be carrying more than 220 sports bags that had each been stuffed with a total of 4,200 packages of pressed cocaine.

In a statement, the Hamburg prosecutor’s office said the shipment was the largest single seizure of cocaine ever made in Germany, and that the drugs would now be destroyed under strict security.

The Port of Hamburg authority said in a statement that the seizure of the drugs built on recent successes achieved by the city’s customs officials, who it noted had seized 3.8 tonnes of cocaine in 2017.

Rolf Bösinger, state secretary in charge of customs at the federal ministry of finance, commented: “This outstanding success proves once again how powerfully German customs fight crime.

“With its sophisticated risk analysis, the customs authorities succeeded in opening the right containers and extracting illegal goods from the enormous number of containers that pass through the port of Hamburg every day.”

Source: Illicit Trade

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