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Thursday, March 23, 2023

U.K. Border Force Seizes £14 Million in Drugs Concealed in Flower Shipment

The U.K. Border Force has seized more than £14 million worth of cocaine and amphetamines after stopping a truck in Coquelles, the juxtaposed control for the Eurotunnel in France.

The detection was made at about 11:10pm on July 29, after officers stopped the truck which was on its way to the U.K. from the Netherlands. The drugs were found hidden within a load of flowers.

Border Force officers searched the truck and found that each container of sunflowers and roses had a false floor. The floor of each of the 43 containers was unscrewed and 35 of them were found to contain an estimated 250kg of cocaine and 169kg of amphetamine. The cocaine has an estimated street value of more than £12.5 million. The amphetamine is believed to be worth over £1.7 million.

The operation and extraction of the illegal drugs took more than 12 hours and is one of the largest commercial drugs seizures in the U.K. this year.

Minister for Immigration Compliance and the Courts Chris Philp said the sale of drugs such as cocaine and amphetamine fuels gang violence leading to the exploitation of vulnerable children. “This seizure is an excellent example of the crucial work Border Force does every day to prevent illegal drugs entering the U.K. in the first place. We will do all we can to stop these heinous gangs and keep the public safe.”

Border Force Director Ian Hanson added that it was a sophisticated concealment. “The smugglers had skilfully built a false floor into each container and this would have been undetectable to the untrained eye.”

Following the Border Force detection, the seizure was referred to the National Crime Agency.

Read more at the U.K. Home Office

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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