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Massive drugs haul off Spanish coast

Posted to On the waterfront (by on December 24, 2009

A joint sting has made London a little safer

The streets of London may have got just a little bit cleaner and safer thanks to a massive drugs haul off the coast of Northern Spain. 

Cocaine with a street value of £375million was seized from a large ship, a 150ft former coastguard vessel that started its journey in the West Indies and was destined for the UK. 

This particular drugs haul, seized from the ship named The Destiny Express, was the result of an intense underworld investigation that stretched from London and Spain to the Caribbean and Columbia, bringing into focus yet again the sheer scale of export of class A drugs, the resulting laundering of the multi-million pound proceeds and the impact it has on families, communities and vulnerable groups.

A report from the UN recently highlighted the vast impact of drug trafficking on difficult social issues including prostitution, tax evasion and gun crime. The UN stated that the global dug trade generated an estimated $321.6billion in 2003 alone, with an upward trend, especially in undeveloped nations. 

In the UK, illegal drugs trade accounts for around 1% of GDP, or £8.5billion, again with extensive knock on effects in criminal activities. 

With the drug trafficking industry becoming ever-more dangerous and wide-reaching, the huge seizure was achieved through a joint operation between the UK’s Metropolitan Police, the Serious Organised Crime Agency and the Maritime Analysis & Operations Centre, with the cooperation of the Spanish National Police. 

A senior representative from the Met’s Central Task Force commented, “I would like to thank Spanish National Police whose excellent work ensured the prisoners and drugs were safely secured. I would also like to thank my team and others that have supported us in what has been a challenging and demanding investigation. Their dedication and professionalism has ensures that the harm caused by this criminal network to the communities of London has been reduced significantly.”

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