A suspected £50 million worth of cocaine recently washed up on two beaches in Norfolk. The cocaine weighed a total of 360kg (794lb) and was found washed up at Caister-on-Sea on 10th February and Hopton-on-sea the previous day according to the National Crime Agency. The two locations are both near Great Yarmouth. According to the NCA, several holdalls were found at Hopton-on-sea while several small packages were also found near Caister-on-Sea.
The packages were first discovered by a member of the public who called the police after noticing several holdalls at the Hopton Beach. Investigators suspected the holdalls contained cocaine and both the police and Border Force officers were at the scene to secure it. The National Crime Agency was brought in to look into the seizure. Several small packages would thereafter wash up separately on Caister beach. It is estimated that the suspected cocaine weighed around 360 kilograms. If this amount of cocaine was cut and sold, it would have a street value of around £50 million at the very least, according to the NCA. Matthew Rivers, a member of NCA’s border investigation team stated that they were working with the coastguard, Norfolk Police and the Border Force to figure out how the bags came to be where they were discovered. He added that it was unlikely that this was where they were supposed to have ended up. He also added that the loss of the drug was a major blow to the criminals who were involved.
Stuart Bacon, a marine archaeologist stated that only a detailed analysis of the winds and the tides could reveal exactly where the bags had been thrown off the boat unless of course the cocaine had been dumped very close to the shore. The director of the Suffolk Underwater Studies Unit, Mr Bacon, stated that had he been part of the investigation, he’d be wondering whether or not the drugs had come from a sunken boat. Due to the high value of the drugs, he imagined the people involved would have gone to great lengths to keep it safe. He also thought that if the holdalls had been intentionally thrown from a vessel, it had to have been done from a vessel that was quite near, perhaps as close as 100 yards. A local fisherman also stated that several officers from the police and border control were searching the rocks near the Potters Resort beach.