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Spain seizes 720kg of cocaine as UK announces one of its biggest-ever drug busts

Spain seized nearly 720 kilos of cocaine on Monday, authorities said.
Spain seized nearly 720 kilos of cocaine on Monday, authorities said. Copyright AP Photo
Copyright AP Photo
By Euronews, AFP
Published on Updated
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The drugs have been found in vessels coming from South America, and hidden on board hoping to avoid detection.

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Spanish authorities announced the seizure of nearly 720kg of cocaine coming from Costa Rica on Monday, saying the drug was found inside a container which arrived at the port of Malaga at the end of September.

The drug was hidden in a safe buried under piles of metal scraps in the container, authorities said. Eight people were arrested in connection to the drug bust, but their identities were not revealed to the public.

While the seizure is a significant operation for Spanish authorities, the drug bust is far from the country’s biggest which took place earlier this year in August, when 9.5 tonnes of the drug were discovered in a container of bananas en route from Ecuador.

According to 2020 data, Spain was the third country in Europe for the quantity of cocaine seized in its ports with a total of 26 tonnes following Belgium (69 tonnes) and the Netherlands (45 tonnes).

The Spanish drug seizure comes just days after another country, the UK, celebrated one of the biggest cocaine busts in its history.

British authorities found €11.4 million (£10 million) worth of cocaine in the hull of a ship seized in the port of Sheerness in Kent - a county south-east of London - as part of an investigation involving police officers and border force, according to the National Crime Agency.

Authorities seized about 137kg of the drug from the container ship, which was flying a Panamanian flag and carrying a load of bananas. The drug was found in four large holdalls hidden below the water line inside the sea chest of the ship - an intake area for sea water to go and assist the vessel’s stability.

The ship was headed to the Netherlands but was stopped for searches after docking at the British port on 14 October.

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