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German customs seize largest ever haul of cocaine, worth €800 million

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German customs seize largest ever haul of cocaine, worth €800 million
Photo: DPA
14:24 CEST+02:00
On Thursday the German customs agency presented a huge quantity of cocaine which it had seized at Hamburg harbour. It was the largest cocaine seizure in German history.

The cocaine was displayed for the press at a military barracks under heavy guard. Two customs officials carrying assault rifles stood over the drugs, which were stacked up in the colourful plastic packaging they had been sent in.

The cocaine haul is to be burned at an undisclosed location later on Thursday.

In total 3.8 tonnes of cocaine, with a street value of €800 million, was seized during three searches of shipments arriving in Hamburg during the early months of 2017.

The cocaine, which came from Paraguay and Uruguay, was supposed to be delivered to Belgium after its arrival in Germany. According to customs officials, it had a purity of 85 percent to 90 percent.

“We were able to deal a blow to the cocaine market with this seizure,” said Werner Gatzer, permanent secretary in the Federal Finance Ministry. He added that it was “the largest seizure we have ever had in Germany.”

No previous cocaine seizure has weighed more than a tonne. In April, police seized 384 kilograms of the narcotic in Leverkusen. The drugs had been hidden in banana boxes, which had arrived in the country through Hamburg harbour.

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