Cocaine worth €15.7 million seized from three containers at Freeport

The customs department has seized 144kg of cocaine hidden in three containers bound for Albania and Montenegro

The cocaine packets were found hidden in the refrigerant compressor of three containers
The cocaine packets were found hidden in the refrigerant compressor of three containers

Cocaine with an estimated street value of €15.7 million was seized by customs officials on Saturday from three containers passing through the Freeport.

A total of 120 packets of cocaine, weighing 144kg were discovered inside the refrigerant compressor unit of the three containers, the department said.

The customs container monitoring unit had selected several containers for scanning in the early hours of Saturday and preliminary scans flagged irregularities in the three reefer containers. A physical search confirmed the suspicions.

The first two containers from South America were passing through Malta on their way to the port of Durres in Albania. They contained 20 packets of cocaine each, weighing 48kg with a street value of €5.4 million.

The cocaine had an estimated street value of €15.7 million
The cocaine had an estimated street value of €15.7 million

The third container from South America was passing through Malta on its way to the port of Bar in Montenegro. Customs officials found 80 packets of cocaine weighing 96kg, with an estimated street value of €10.8 million.

So far, this year 750kg of cocaine, worth €83.9 million have been seized by the customs department.

Customs said that the latest operation was the result of a joint effort by the department, the police and the Freeport to clamp down on the abuse. The customs department also thanked members of the Armed Forces of Malta for their assistance.

“The case has been handed over to the police anti-drug squad for further investigations and a duty magistrate is leading an inquiry,” the customs department said.

More in National