The Malta Independent 25 April 2019, Thursday

Customs Department seizes more containers at Freeport with cocaine, valued at €10.3m

Monday, 15 April 2019, 08:23 Last update: about 9 days ago

Containers containininf cocaine worth more than 10 million euros were seized by the Customs Department on Sunday, the department said in a statement.

After last Sunday’s (7 April) cocaine haul of 91.2kgs and Tuesday’s seizure of 24 kgs more, this Sunday (14 April), in an operation that took several hours that streched into the early hours of today (Monday, 15 April) Customs Department officials seized another 91.25 kgs of cocaine from three reefer containers at the Malta Freeport.

In the early hours of Sunday, the Customs Container Monitoring Unit selected several containers for scanning. Following preliminary scans, taken by the Customs Scanning Team, irregularities in three of the reefer containers were noticed, which, once again, pointed to narcotics hidden in the refidgerant compessor unit. A physical search confirmed the preliminary suspicions.

-          In the first container 20 packets of cocaine, weighing 24 kgs, were discovered, with a street value of 2.7 Million Euros.

-          The second container yielded 40 packets of cocaine, weighing 48 kgs, with a street value of 5.4 Million Euros.

-          In the third container the Customs Officials found 16 packets of cocaine, weighing 19.25 kgs and a street value of 2.2 Million Euros.

This brings the total amount to 76 packets of cocaine, weighing 91.25 kgs, with a total estimated street value of 10.3 Million Euros.

The first and the third containers were transhipping Malta, from South America, en-route to Durres, in Albania, while the second container, which also originated from South America, was transhipping our port en-route to Thessaloniki, in Greece.

The operation was the result of a concerted between the employees of the Customs Department, the Police and Malta Freeport.  The case was handed over to the Police Anti Drug Squad, who are conducting the investigations. The duty Magistrate is leading the inquiry assisted by a team of experts from the Police Forensics Unit.

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