£50m coke haul on jet

Midweek Sport - - NEWS -

FIVE men have been ar­rested af­ter half a ton of co­caine worth over £50mil­lion was dis­cov­ered in a pri­vate jet.

Bor­der Force of­fi­cers found the Class A drug af­ter search­ing an air­craft that flew into the UK from Bo­gota in Colom­bia on Mon­day.

Two Bri­tons, two Spa­niards and an Ital­ian were held on sus­pi­cion of drug smug­gling af­ter the twin-en­gined jet landed at Farn­bor­ough Air­port in Hamp­shire.

The Bor­der Force said that the drug was hid­den in 15 suit­cases that were found on board.

The Force’s Mike Step­ney said: “Of­fi­cers be­came sus­pi­cious and searched the air­craft and their lug­gage. When opened, each case was found to con­tain up to 37 tape wrapped pack­ages weigh­ing ap­prox­i­mately one kilo each. One of these was pierced and a white pow­der ex­posed which tested pos­i­tive for co­caine.”

Three prop­er­ties in Bournemouth, Dorset, were also searched by the Na­tional Crime Agency and computers and phones taken away for ex­am­i­na­tion.

The NCA’s Siob­han Mick­leth­waite said: “This is a ma­jor seizure of co­caine. We es­ti­mate that once cut and sold it would have had a po­ten­tial value of £50 mil­lion.”

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