WATCH: The moment firearms officers made the arrests following the seizure of drugs in Portsmouth
Cocaine worth up to £184 million has been seized after it arrived in Portsmouth from Colombia in a consignment of bananas.
The National Crime Agency (NCA) said the seizure of around 2.3 tonnes of the Class A drug is believed to be one of the largest ever in the UK.
Ten men, aged between 21 and 56, were arrested following an armed raid at an industrial estate in Tottenham, north London, on Thursday after the delivery of 41 pallets.
Dramatic footage shows firearms officers, wearing helmets and gas masks, smash down the door before raiding the building, which contains stacked boxes of bananas.
The cocaine had already been removed by Border Force officers at Portsmouth International Port on Sunday after the consignment arrived on a cargo ship from Colombia the previous day.
The NCA, which carried out the investigation with the Metropolitan Police under the Organised Crime Partnership, said the drugs could have been worth £184 million if sold on UK streets.
The Met’s Detective Superintendent Simon Moring said: “This operation is a great example of partnership working between the Met, NCA and Border Force, which resulted in one of the UK’s biggest ever seizures of cocaine – around 2.3 tonnes.
“We know there is an inextricable link between drugs and violence – that is why tackling the importation and supply of drugs is a crucial part of our work to reduce violent crime"
Five men were held after taking delivery of the pallets at the Tottenham industrial estate, while another five were arrested at a different industrial estate in Enfield.
Three of them have been charged with the importation of Class A drugs, while the other seven remain in police custody.
John Coles, head of specialist operations at the NCA, said: “The numbers here speak for themselves; this is a massive seizure which has denied organised criminals hundreds of millions in profits, and is the result of a targeted investigation conducted jointly by the NCA and Met Police.