German customs seize 4.5 tons of cocaine, worth $1.1 billion

 

BERLIN (AP) — German customs authorities say they have seized 4.5 tons (nearly 5 U.S. tons) of cocaine in a container shipped from Uruguay, a haul with an estimated street value of nearly 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion).

The customs office in Hamburg said Friday that the drugs were seized two weeks ago when it checked the container that was en route from Montevideo to Antwerp, Belgium. The paperwork stated that it was loaded with soya beans, but customs officials could only see black sports bags when they opened it up.

They found more than 4,200 packets of cocaine in the 211 bags. It was Germany's biggest single seizure of cocaine to date.

RELATED: $1 billion cocaine bust in Philadelphia ship

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$1B cocaine bust on Philadelphia ship
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$1B cocaine bust on Philadelphia ship
Officials gather on the decks of a container ship on the Delaware River in Philadelphia, Tuesday, June 18, 2019.U.S. authorities have seized more than $1 billion worth of cocaine from a ship at a Philadelphia port, calling it one of the largest drug busts in American history. The U.S. attorney’s office in Philadelphia announced the massive bust on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon. Officials said agents seized about 16.5 tons (15 metric tons) of cocaine from a large ship at the Packer Marine Terminal. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
An officer with a dog inspects a container along the Delaware River in Philadelphia, Tuesday, June 18, 2019. U.S. authorities have seized more than $1 billion worth of cocaine from a ship at a Philadelphia port, calling it one of the largest drug busts in American history. The U.S. attorney’s office in Philadelphia announced the massive bust on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon. Officials said agents seized about 16.5 tons (15 metric tons) of cocaine from a large ship at the Packer Marine Terminal. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Authorities search a container along the Delaware River in Philadelphia, Tuesday, June 18, 2019. U.S. authorities have seized more than $1 billion worth of cocaine from a ship at a Philadelphia port, calling it one of the largest drug busts in American history. The U.S. attorney’s office in Philadelphia announced the massive bust on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon. Officials said agents seized about 16.5 tons (15 metric tons) of cocaine from a large ship at the Packer Marine Terminal. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Cranes unload the freight ship MSC Gayane, after US authorities seized more than 16 tons of cocaine at the Packer Marine Terminal in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on June 18, 2019. - US authorities said Tuesday they had seized around 16 tonnes of cocaine with an estimated street value of over $1 billion in a historic drug bust aboard a ship at the port of Philadelphia. The drugs were found in seven containers aboard the MSC Gayane cargo ship, which was leaving for Europe after having previously called in Chile, Panama and the Bahamas, according to local media. (Photo by DOMINICK REUTER / AFP) (Photo credit should read DOMINICK REUTER/AFP/Getty Images)
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The customs office said that the drugs have already been destroyed "amid strict secrecy and extensive security precautions."

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