Border Force officers at Gatwick Airport have seized 13kgs of cocaine, concealed within rope netting used to secure a pallet of imported food.
The package arrived at Gatwick on a flight from Jamaica on Thursday 13 November, and contained a variety of fruit and produce including yams, sweet potatoes, avocados and soursop.
The cocaine, which was high purity and has an estimated street value of more than £500,000, was hidden in the tubular rope packaging surrounding the pallet.
The case has now been passed to the National Crime Agency (NCA) for further investigation.
Border Force South Regional Director Carole Upshall said:
As this seizure shows, smugglers often employ sophisticated methods – this time using the external rope packaging to try to conceal the drugs.
But our officers are on constant alert at the borders to prevent the trade in drugs like cocaine and stop it from reaching the streets.
We are also working closely with the National Crime Agency to find the organised crime groups behind these smuggling attempts.
Border Force officers are the front line in protecting the country and play a key role in detecting illegal immigration, disrupting serious and organised crime and helping to prevent the threat of terrorism. Border Force also protects the UK’s revenue, contributing to the nation’s prosperity and growth.
Anyone with any information about activity they suspect may be linked to smuggling should call the smuggling hotline on 0800 59 5000.