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Customs make major drug haul at Malta Freeport (Updated)

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A major operation took place at the Malta Freeport as the Customs unit has identified four containers full of cocaine.

Around 288 kilograms of cocaine were found in temperature controlled trailers which were carrying fruit and transited through Malta from South America enroute to an EU state.

Customs Officials on duty at the Customs Scanning Facility at the Malta Freeport, have once again made a sizeable seizure of narcotics.

In the early hours of today, twelve refridgerated containers were flagged by the Container Monitoring Unit due to their high risk route. Following the scanning of said containers using the state-of-the-art equipment, it resulted that three of them contained hidden packets in the refridgerant compressor compartment, while the other shipment of drugs was concealed behind paneling of an inner compartment.

The four containers were subsequently checked physically and found to contain:

• Container number one – 37 packets of cocaine, weighing 44.4kgs, with an approximate street value of 5 million euros;

• Container number two – 54 packets of cocaine, weighing 64.8kgs, with an approximate street value of 7.3 million euros;

• Container number three – 69 packets of cocaine, weighing 82.8kgs, with an approximate street value of 9.3 million euros;

• Container number four – 80 packets of cocaine, weighing 96kg, with an approximate street value of 10.8 million euros.

A total of 240 packets, weighing 288 kg, were elevated, wiping out 32.4 million euros of cocaine off the streets.

All four reefer containers were carrying fruit and transited through Malta from South America en-route to an EU member state.

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.

In a statement the Customs Department would like to express its gratitude towards the Malta Police force, the Security Services of the Freeport Corporation, and the Logistics Department of the Freeport Terminals LTD for their cooperation during this intensive operation on a public holiday.

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