11 March 2019
The National Crime Agency has played a key role in an international operation which has led to the seizure of around 1.5 tonnes of cocaine in the USA.
Following a tip-off from the NCA the drugs were discovered by US Customs and Border Protection officers in a container at the Port of New York/Newark on 28 February.
The container was due to be shipped to Rotterdam in the Netherlands, and then onwards to an address in London.
Officers seized around 60 packages weighing a combined 1,437 kilos. The UK street value of the drugs is likely to have been in excess of £100 million.
The seizure is believed to be the biggest at the Port of New York/Newark in around 25 years.
Dave Hucker, regional head of operations for the NCA, said:
“This is a significant international seizure made possible by our partnerships with law enforcement in the US, and taking this amount of cocaine out of circulation will be a massive hit for the organised crime group involved.
“While this seizure was made on the other side of the Atlantic there is no doubt in my mind that a proportion of these drugs would have ended up on the streets of the UK.
“We know there are direct links between drug distribution and street violence, intimidation and exploitation in UK towns and cities. These kind of seizures demonstrate the role the NCA plays in preventing that.”
The operation to locate and recover the drugs involved the NCA, US Customs and Border Protection, the US Coast Guard, US Homeland Security Investigations, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the New York Police Department, and the New York State Police.