Several packages of South American cocaine weighing nearly two tons and valued at over $113 million USD has been discovered in the United Kingdom after the drug parcels were found washed ashore on the East Sussex coast.Several packages of South American cocaine worth more than $113 million USD was found on the British shoreline.
The National Crime Agency (NCA) confirmed in a news release that they have opened an investigation into the recovered drug packages. The mounds of cocaine were reportedly found on two separate beaches on Monday, one in Newhaven and another in Hastings.
The NCA report noted that concerned citizens initially called in the Sussex Police Department, “who removed the drugs from both beaches and took them to a secure location.”
According to a report from The Argus, the drugs were found washed ashore “wrapped in waterproof bags and attached to life jackets to make them float” in the water.
“Shortly before 6 a.m., police received a report of a large number of packages in the sea off the coast of St. Leonards,” a Sussex Police spokesperson said in a statement to the outlet.
“In liaison with the Coastguard and East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, the packages were recovered and will be tested to determine what they are,” the spokesperson added. “Further packages were reported later in the day along the coast at Newhaven. Police are seeking to determine whether the two finds are linked.”
The NCA and Sussex law enforcement subsequently performed a preliminary drug test and confirmed high traces of cocaine in the packages seized. The NCA noted that “a full forensic examination will [also] be carried out.”
In a series of tweets, the NCA reported that the weight of the packages seized from both beaches came out to 960 kilograms, roughly over 2,116 pounds. The cocaine is believed to have a street sale value of £80 million, which converts to about $113,195,760.
In the NCA’s press release, Branch Commander Martin Grace stated that based on initial findings, it is likely that the drugs came into the United Kingdom from international waters.
“This is a significant amount of class A drugs which we think originated in South America, but we are keeping an open mind about how the drugs washed up here and where the end destination might have been,” Grace said. “Clearly though losing a consignment of this size this will represent a significant hit to the criminal networks involved.”
He also confirmed that both the Sussex Police and Border Force have teamed up with the NCA in the drug investigation, and the drugs are being held in an undisclosed location.