A colossal stash of cocaine weighing at least five tonnes and worth £100 million has been seized by police in Costa Rica.
The giant haul had been loaded on a ship bound for Rotterdam and would have flooded the European cities with plentiful supplies of the illegal drug.
Cops found the cocaine on Saturday in Costa Rica's Caribbean port of Limon hidden inside a shipping container of plants bound for the Netherlands.
Anti-narcotics police searching the suspect container discovered 202 suitcases containing a total of 5,048 packages of cocaine weighing around 1 kg (2.2 lbs) each.
They said that the cocaine was produced in South America, though they declined to say exactly where.
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The drugs would have had a street value in the region of €126 million (about £105 million) if they had reached Holland,
Costa Rica's Security Minister Michael Soto said late on Saturday. "It's a historic seizure."
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Mr Soto added. "It is a blow to the regional criminal structures."
A Costa Rican man, who drove the shipment from north of the country to Limon port, has reportedly been detained on drugs charges.
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The largest drugs bust in the UK – which is also the biggest haul in Europe – was made on August 30 last year, when a combined operation between he National Crime Agency and the Border Force seized almost 1.3 tonnes of heroin with a street value of £120 million from the container ship MV Gibraltar.
Jenny Sharp, Border Force Assistant Director at Felixstowe said at the time: “This is a huge seizure – there is no other word for it given the quantities involved – which has kept dangerous drugs off the streets of the UK and mainland Europe.”
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