Police in the UK found a container of oranges imported from South Africa that was packed with 49kg of cocaine after a seven-month investigation into a drug shipment hidden in animal feed.
In the course of an ongoing investigation, the South West Regional Organized Crime Unit (SWROCU), with assistance from the Metropolitan Police, the UK Border Force, and other agencies, has so far discovered more than 230kg of cocaine and detained four suspects.
“The investigation began in April when a shipping container delivered to a farm near Bridgwater in Somerset containing animal feed was found to contain 189kg of cocaine,” said the SWROCU.
From Columbia, the container made its way to London Gateway Port. Seven warrants were carried out at properties in West London about two weeks ago, “which led to four men being arrested and a further 49kg of cocaine being seized from a container of oranges imported from South Africa to the port of Felixstowe”.
One suspect was charged with importing class A drugs and placed in custody. He is from Southall, Ealing. While the investigation is ongoing, three additional West Londoners, aged 31, 51, and 60, were freed.
“Our investigation has prevented a huge amount of high-purity class A drugs from ending up on our streets, reducing both the threat to communities and the profits of the organised criminals importing and supplying them.
“The national ROCU network continues to work tirelessly with police forces and law enforcement partners to protect the security and integrity of the UK border,: said Paul Fisher from the SWROCU.
Meanwhile, an excavator that was imported from South Africa to New South Wales in 2019 contained 384 kg of cocaine, which at the time was estimated to be worth R1.4 billion. The owner of a landscaping company is currently facing trial in Australia over this discovery.
Packages of the drug were found concealed inside the device by an X-ray. Police confiscated the drugs, swapped them out for a legal substance, and outfitted the excavator with surveillance equipment.
After the excavator was delivered to the company, they allegedly pounced and cut open the container to remove the goods.
Last week, Timothy Engstrom pleaded not guilty to trying to possess a commercial amount of a border control drug in the New South Wales district court, according to an ABC News report. The case is still open.