BERLIN – Germany’s customs service said Friday (Aug 2) it had seized a 4.5 tons cocaine shipment, the country’s largest ever, with an estimated street value of one billion euros (US$1.1 billion).
The cocaine was discovered two weeks ago in a Netherlands-bound shipping container from Uruguay during a search in the northern port city of Hamburg, they said.
When customs agents opened the container, which according to the manifesto was loaded with soybeans, they found more than 200 sports bags packed with over 4,200 packages of compressed cocaine.
The 4.5 tons surpassed total seizures of 3.8 tons made in Hamburg in 2017.
“This enormous quantity represents the largest single seizure of cocaine in Germany,” said the customs service in a statement.
“Assuming that this probably very pure cocaine can be diluted to triple the amount for street sale, the 4.5 tons have a street value of approximately one billion euros.”
The service said that “the cocaine seized has already been destroyed in secret and under extensive security precautions”.
In June of this year more than $1 billion worth of cocaine has been seized at a Philadelphia Port.
They say the drug bust netted approximately 16.5 tons of the narcotic from a cargo ship docked at the Packer Marine Terminal.
It is the largest cocaine bust in history in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the third largest in U.S. history.
The DEA official said the ship originated from Chile and traveled through Panama and the Bahamas.
Two members of the crew have been arrested and face federal charges, according to The Associated Press.