Cocaine smugglers are getting more brazen in their business as 4.5 tonnes of cocaine worth €1billion ($1.1billion) was seized in Hamburg, Germany.
It was the nation’s biggest ever drugs haul and eerily the second major seizure in the northern hemisphere, in two months.
In June, US officials seized approximately 16.5 tons of cocaine from a large ship, MSC Gayane, docked at the Packer Marine Terminal in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.The ship from Chile was headed to Europe when the drugs were found. They were concealed in seven containers aboard the boat, an ABC News report said.
The haul is estimated to be valued at over $1 billion on the street, according to a statement from the US Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
In the latest find in Germany, Hamburg customs office said it had examined a suspicious shipping container two weeks ago.
The container had come from the Uruguayan capital Montevideo and was bound for Antwerp in Belgium.
It was supposed to be loaded with soybeans but authorities instead found 221 black sport bags containing 4,200 packets of pressed cocaine.
In a statement, the customs office said: ‘This enormous amount represents the largest single seizure of cocaine in Germany.
‘The confiscated cocaine was destroyed under strict and extensive security measures.
‘Assuming that this probably very pure cocaine can be diluted to triple the amount for street sale, the 4.5 tonnes have a street value of approximately one billion euros.’
It added that the Hamburg prosecutor’s office was investigating who was destined to receive the contents of the container.
The 4.5 tonnes surpassed total seizures of 3.8 tonnes made in Hamburg in 2017.