NewsRecord cocaine haul at Hamburg port valued in billions seized

Record cocaine haul at Hamburg port valued in billions seized

Port in Hamburg
Port in Hamburg
Images source: © Getty Images | 2024 Getty Images

5:37 PM EDT, June 14, 2024

Investigators have seized a record amount of cocaine worth billions of euros, reports the service tagesschau.de. The discovery took place in Hamburg, specifically at its port, which is one of three in Europe used for drug smuggling on an almost industrial scale.

The Central Office for Organized Crime in Düsseldorf reported the interception at the Hamburg port of a "record amount of cocaine." The Ministry of Justice mentioned 35 tons of this drug, which on the black market is worth several billion euros, as reported by the service tagesschau.de.

Investigators will provide more details on this subject on Monday. So far, the discovery in Hamburg has led to operations in Bonn, Cologne, Leverkusen, Munich, Berlin, and Frankfurt am Main. The police have executed seven arrest warrants in this matter.

Gigantic cocaine load

German media report that the largest single discovery of cocaine in Europe to date took place in 2021. At that time in Hamburg, the drug was found in several containers from Paraguay where it was supposed to be putty. 16 tons with a black market value of up to 3.5 billion euros were discovered.

This year's discovery by the Hamburg customs office had matched its total for 2023 when about 35 tons of cocaine were uncovered in German seaports. Investigators assume that this is only a fraction of the smuggled drug.

The three largest ports in Europe - Rotterdam, Antwerp, and Hamburg - are often used by cartels for drug smuggling. Last year, customs officers at the ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp confiscated a record amount of almost 180 tons of cocaine, explains tagesschau.de.

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