Some 23 tonnes of cocaine were discovered in containers at the ports of Hamburg and Antwerp, the German customs service announced on Wednesday (February 24th), hailing the largest seizure ever made in Europe.
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Some 16 tonnes were discovered on February 12 in five containers from Paraguay, customs said, adding that this seizure also helped to get hold of 7.3 other tonnes stored in the port of Antwerp in Belgium.
The total amount of these seizures would thus reach for resale "
several billion euros
", according to customs.
A 28-year-old man has been arrested in the Netherlands.
He is suspected of being responsible for the import of these 23 tons of cocaine, according to the customs service.
In Hamburg, these containers, deemed suspicious, were searched from top to bottom.
The drugs were hidden in cans, concealed under a first layer of containers containing putty.
In total, 16 tonnes were found in around 1,700 boxes.
Thanks to a very professional investigative work, we managed to seize a record quantity of cocaine
", welcomed the State Secretary for Customs, Rolf Bösinger, welcoming a "
blow struck against organized crime linked to narcotics
The investigation is continuing in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium to allow possible further arrests.