Shipment courier

Colombian cocaine worth £40m found in cargo of bananas on Thames port

Cocaine worth £40million has been discovered smuggled in a consignment of bananas at a Thames port.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) said officers seized more than half a ton of Class A drugs on a boat coming from Columbia, at London Gateway on the Essex coast, south-east ‘England.

Investigators intercepted the shipment, which was en route to the Netherlands, on Tuesday.

Hundreds of huge slabs of cocaine were found stuck next to bananas in cardboard boxes.

The NCA said the haul would have had a UK market value of over £40million when cut and sold.

Boxes of cocaine found next to bananas by the NCA on Tuesday (NCA/PA)

NCA branch operations manager Adam Berry described the discovery as a “crushing blow” to peddlers.

He said: “To release a shipment of this size will have been a blow to the criminal network involved in this shipment, preventing them from earning millions of pounds which would have been invested in new crime.

“Class A drugs are cycled by gangs involved in violence and exploitation in our communities.

“The NCA works hard with partners to stop the drug from getting this far, and making seizures like this shows how we can break that link between international drug cartels and street traffickers.”