Cocaine worth up to £50 million has washed up on two Norfolk beaches.
Hundreds of kilograms of the drug were discovered on Thursday afternoon by a member of the public on Hopton beach, near Great Yarmouth.
Experts from the National Crime Agency were called in to investigate and just hours later, more small packages were discovered at a location near Caister.
The total amount of suspected cocaine is estimated to be around 360kg (793lbs). If cut and sold on the streets, it’s value could be upwards of £50 million.
It’s not yet clear how the cocaine ended up on the beaches of Norfolk but one theory is that it was thrown overboard by smugglers. The packages could have been left in the water for collection or because the smugglers believed would be caught by officials.
Matthew Rivers, from the NCA’s border investigation team, said:
We are now working with Border Force, the Coastguard Agency and Norfolk Police to try and establish how the bags ended up where they did, however it is extremely unlikely that this was their intended destination.
This is obviously a substantial seizure of class A drugs, and its loss will represent a major blow to the organised criminals involved.
Superintendent Dave Buckley, from Norfolk Constabulary, added:
We are assisting the National Crime Agency with their searches and whilst we believe we have recovered all the packages, should any member of the public find one they are urged to contact Norfolk Constabulary immediately on 101. We will have extra officers in the area to monitor the situation.
Anyone with information can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.