Packages found stranded on the Sussex coast contained nearly a ton of cocaine worth around £ 80million.
Two separate shipments of packages were found stranded on beaches near Hastings and Newhaven.
The drugs, which were packaged in waterproof bags and attached to life jackets to make them float, are said to have originated in South America.
They were discovered on Monday by passers-by who alerted local police, who seized the packages and took them to a safe place.
Martin Grace, branch commander of the NCA, said: “This is a significant amount of Class A drugs which we believe originated in South America, but we keep an open mind on how the drugs got washed up here and where the final destination might have been.
“Obviously, the loss of a shipment of this size will be a huge blow to the criminal networks involved.”
NCA officers are investigating the seizures, which are related.
The samples have tested positive for cocaine, but a full forensic examination will be done.
The combined weight is believed to be around 960kg, which if cut and sold on the streets of the UK would have had an estimated market value of around £ 80million.
Pictures released by the NCA on Tuesday show several packages lying on a pebble beach.
READ MORE: More ‘drug-containing’ packages found on Sussex coast
Mr Grace added: “Our investigation is being assisted by both Sussex Police and border forces, and will likely involve international partners as well.”
Sussex Police said yesterday: ‘Shortly before 6 a.m. Police received a report of a large number of packages in the sea off St Leonards.
“In liaison with the Coast Guard and the East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, the packages have been recovered and will be tested to determine what they are.
“More packages were reported later today along the coast in Newhaven. Police are investigating whether the two finds are related.
“They are suspected of being Class A drugs and were taken to an undisclosed secure location.”
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This notice was published: 2021-05-25 15:04:26