UK: Sea Washed Ashore Drugs Worth Millions of Dollars

Published: 27 May 2021

Drugs SussexDrugs that the sea washed ashore in East Sussex. (Photo: NCA)

By Zdravko Ljubas

The sea washed packages of cocaine worth nearly US$113 million off the coast of East Sussex, surprising passers-by who alerted the police.

The U.K. National Crime Agency (NCA) “has begun an investigation following the discovery of almost a ton of what is thought to be cocaine at two locations on the East Sussex coast,” the agency said in a statement on Tuesday.

The NCA’s preliminary tests confirmed that the samples taken from the load have tested positive for cocaine.

Two separate consignments were found on beaches near Hastings and Newhaven. The drugs were “packed in waterproof bags, then attached to life jackets to make them float.”

“This is a significant amount of class A drugs which we think originated in South America, but we are keeping an open mind about how the drugs washed up here and where the end destination might have been,” NCA Branch Commander, Martin Grace, said.

He also said that the loss of such a drug consignment will be “a significant hit to the criminal networks involved,” and that a further investigation into the case may involve international partners.