Police have seized 2.3 tonnes of cocaine worth up to £184 million in London after it was smuggled into the UK in a shipment of bananas from Colombia, a smuggling operation tantamount to the operation of Colombian greatest drug lord, the late Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria who died Dec 2nd, 1993.
The seizure of the Class A drug is believed to be one of the largest ever in the UK, said the National Crime Agency (NCA), who conducted a joint investigation with the Met Police.
Following an armed raid at an industrial estate in Tottenham, north London, on Thursday, 10 men aged between 21 and 56 were arrested.
Dramatic footage from the raid showed firearms officers geared up with helmets and gas masks smashing down a door before raiding the building, which contained 41 pallets stacked with boxes of bananas.
The cocaine – which the NCA estimated would potentially have been worth £184 million if sold on UK streets – had already been removed by Border Force officers at Portsmouth International Port on Sunday.
The container had arrived on a cargo ship from Colombia the day before, “masquerading as a legitimate consignment of bananas”, said the NCA.
John Coles, head of specialist operations at the NCA, said: “The NCA is focused on disrupting the organised crime groups posing the most significant risk to the UK, which includes those involved in class A drug supply.