German and Belgian authorities seized more than 25 tons of cocaine with a street value of about $ 730 million, and the owner of a Dutch importing company was arrested in connection with the record catch, authorities announced Wednesday.
The coke was found on February 12 in a search for five containers from Paraguay that had been marked as suspicious in a risk analysis by various European customs authorities, the Hamburg customs office said.
They had detected “clear irregularities” in three containers, which were loaded with putty in tin cans, but appeared to contain other items as well, said authorities, who found the drug in more than 1,700 cans.
Authorities found some 17.6 tons of cocaine in the German port of Hamburg, while customs officials in Antwerp, Belgium, seized almost eight tons.
Referring to the general loot, which was destined for the Netherlands, the Dutch national prosecutor’s office said that “never before has so much cocaine been intercepted” in a single operation.
A 28-year-old Dutchman, owner of an import company in Rotterdam, was arrested on Wednesday as Dutch police searched two locations: one in the port city and one in a nearby town.
“The mega shipments seized to the Netherlands together form an absolute record. Never before has so much cocaine been intercepted at the same time, ”Dutch police said in a statement.
“The find is in the top five in the world,” Hamburg customs chief Rene Matschke told France-Presse news agency.
With pole cables