Saturday, February 11, 2017

Cocaine worth £50m is washed up on Norfolk beaches

Cocaine with a street value of up to £50m has washed up on two Norfolk beaches, the National Crime Agency has said.

NCA officers were initially called to Hopton beach near Great Yarmouth after a member of the public discovered a number of holdalls packed full of the class A drug.

A small number of packages were discovered separately nearly 10 miles north on the coast near Caister. The total haul weighs around 360kg (794lbs).

Police and Border Force officers attended the scene and secured the holdalls. The case was then referred to the NCA, often dubbed Britain’s FBI.

Matthew Rivers, from the NCA’s border investigation team, said: “We are now working with Border Force, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and Norfolk police to try to establish how the bags ended up where they did. It is extremely unlikely that this was their intended destination.

“This is obviously a substantial seizure of class A drugs, and its loss will represent a major blow to the organised criminals involved.”Norfolk police have urged members of the public who find further packages to contact them.

Supt Dave Buckley of Norfolk police, said: “We are assisting the National Crime Agency with their searches and while we believe we have recovered all the packages, should any member of the public find one they are urged to contact Norfolk Constabulary immediately on 101”
Hopton-on-Sea is a resort with a population of nearly 3,000.

 It is home to Potters Resort, the first permanent, mixed-use holiday camp in the UK, which every January hosts the World Indoor Bowls Championships. Former residents include comedians Joe Pasquale and Eddie Large. Caister, with nearly 9,000 inhabitants, is also home to one of the UK’s oldest caravan and holiday parks.

The UK’s biggest seizure of cocaine was three tonnes. The haul, worth £500m, was found inside the ship MV Hamal about 100 miles off the coast of Aberdeen in April 2015. Two Turkish men, Mumin Sahin and Emin Ozmen, were found guilty of smuggling the drugs.' - Guardian

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