Record haul seized as cocaine worth €600m intercepted in Europe

More than 23 tons of cocaine with a street value of around €600m (£516m) has been seized as part of a record haul in Germany and Belgium.

Customs officers in Hamburg described the find at the German port as the biggest quantity of cocaine ever seized in Europe and one of the largest in the world.

The 16 tons of cocaine were found hidden in more than 1,700 cans of wall filler at the port in a search of five containers from Paraguay that had been flagged as suspicious in a risk analysis by customs authorities.

Another seven tons of cocaine was seized in a container with blocks of wood which had arrived at the Belgian port of Antwerp from Panama.

The authorities said the consignments had been destined for the Netherlands and together represented the biggest catch of cocaine ever headed for the country.

Prosecutors said a 28-year-old Dutchman who was registered as the recipient of the containers in which the drugs were found had been arrested on Wednesday.

Earlier this week, Dutch customs officers had announced the largest heroin haul ever found in one raid in the Netherlands following the seizure of 1,500kg of the drug at the port of Rotterdam.

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