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UK border agents seize Belgium-bound cocaine
A Belgium-bound cocaine shipment with an estimated street value of €20 million has been seized by UK Border Force officers at the Port of Tilbury in Essex, the Home Office reports. The drugs, which had been shipped from Senegal, had been hidden in two canvas-topped containers carrying a legitimate cargo of tin alloys. The 168kg seizure was made on March 15, but details could not be released until yesterday for operational reasons. “Although ultimately bound for Belgium, there is no doubt the drugs would have spread further afield and a large chunk would almost certainly have found its way back to the UK,” said Mark Kennedy, Border Force assistant director, adding, “Seizures like this demonstrate how Border Force officers are at the forefront of the fight to keep illegal drugs and other banned substances off the streets of not only the UK but Europe as a whole.” The smugglers had stashed the drugs inside seven holdalls, three in one container and four in the other, on top of the legitimate cargo to allow easy access. Their plan would have been to break into the containers, remove the drugs, fit a replacement seal and get away very quickly leaving no evidence. Border Force officers use high-tech search equipment to combat immigration crime and detect banned and restricted goods that smugglers attempt to bring into the country. They use an array of search techniques including sniffer dogs, carbon dioxide detectors, heartbeat monitors and scanners as well as visual searches to find stowaways, drugs, firearms and cigarettes.