Mass cocaine haul worth US$70.6m found on jet at TAG Farnborough

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An attempt to smuggle an estimated £50m (US$70.6m) worth of cocaine into the UK has been prevented by Border Force officers at TAG Farnborough Airport in the UK.

The 15 suitcases of cocaine were found aboard a private jet arriving from Bogota, South America, alongside five passengers. The weight of the drugs is estimated to total 550kg (1,212 lb), with a full forensic analysis due to take place.

Mike Stepney, deputy chief operating officer, Border Force, said, “Working with law enforcement colleagues like the National Crime Agency (NCA) we are determined to prevent drug trafficking and bring those responsible to justice.

“This was a significant find made possible by the vigilance of dedicated Border Force officers. They have prevented a substantial quantity of drugs from ending up on our streets and causing untold misery and damage to our communities.

“After meeting the flight and questioning those on board, officers became suspicious and searched the aircraft and their luggage. When opened, each case was found to contain between 34 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.”

Border Force arrested the five passengers on suspicion of importing class A drugs. It is believed to be one of the largest seizures of its kind in the UK.

Business Airport International reached out to TAG Farnborough for comment, who said, “This is a matter for the authorities. We do not comment on individual aircraft and passengers.”

The investigation has now been passed on to the National Crime Agency (NCA).

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Helen has worked for UKi Media & Events for nearly a decade. She joined the company as assistant editor on Passenger Terminal World and since progressed to become editor of five publications, covering everything from aviation, logistics and e-commerce to meteorology. She has a love for travel and property and has redeveloped three houses in three years. When she’s not editing magazines, she’s running around after her two boys and their partner in crime, Pete the pug.

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