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Germany: Record cocaine haul worth billions of euros seized

June 14, 2024

"Dozens of tons of cocaine have been taken out of circulation," German authorities said. The drugs were first uncovered in Hamburg last year.

Cocaine in Hamburg
Investigators say they have succeeded in striking the biggest blow to date against cocaine trafficking in GermanyImage: Zollfahndungsamt Frankfurt/Main/dpa/picture alliance

Investigators in Germany have discovered a record amount of cocaine worth several billion euros, authorities reported on Friday.

"Dozens of tons of cocaine worth several billion euros have been taken out of circulation," the Baden-Württemberg State Office of Criminal Investigation and the Customs Investigation Office in Stuttgart, as well as the Düsseldorf public prosecutor's office announced.

The huge quantity of drugs was first discovered in the port of Hamburg last year, and, according to the German news agency DPA, originated in South America.

After one of the largest single finds of cocaine in Germany, searches were carried out in several federal states, namely North Rhine-Westphalia, Bavaria, Berlin, Brandenburg, Hamburg, Hesse and Lower Saxony, resulting in the issuance of seven arrest warrants.

Colombia's Coca Wars

Hamburg notorious entry for cocaine

The northern port city of Hamburg is a hot spot for cocaine to enter mainland Europe. The port is the largest seaport in Germany and the third largest in Europe, with more than 23,000 shipping containers passing through every day.

"The main entry gates for cocaine are always the big ports," Rene Matschke, head of the customs investigation office in Hamburg, told DW in 2021.

Last month in Hildesheim, in western Germany, police discovered around 190 kilograms of cocaine hidden in banana crates delivered to a fruit dealer in the city. According to investigators, the banana shipment came from Colombia and had been imported via Hamburg in mid-April. 

In February this year, it was reported that Britain had seized 5.7 tons of cocaine in Southampton, in the country's largest-ever seizure of Class A drugs, with the drugs en route to Hamburg.

How Europe became addicted to cocaine

jsi/sms (DPA, AFP) 

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