Smugglers Have Found a Gross New Way to Get Coke Into the UK

This week, UK border guards found £20 million of coke hidden in a shipment of frozen ham.
meat cocaine
Photo: NCA

Drug seizures at the British border are way down, but pay even middling attention to the internet and reports of huge coke shipments being intercepted throughout Europe seem to be on the up.

Why? Presumably because traffickers are looking out for their friends in online content, packaging up millions of pounds worth of drugs in ever more newsworthy ways.

For instance: yesterday, a cocaine haul worth an estimated £20 million was discovered in Essex, wrapped in a paper thin layer of frozen meat, a bit like a massive juicy Lucy, with the gooey American cheese swapped out for an expensive white powder that makes you want to shit.


The drugs were found by Border Force officers conducting routine checks on a Dutch-registered lorry that arrived in Harwich on Monday, and the 48-year-old driver was arrested.

Elsewhere, bricks of coke keep showing up on French beaches, one of the largest cocaine hauls in UK history was found on a boat off the Welsh coast in August, while in June that incredibly optimistic guy was caught at Barcelona El Prat airport with a brick of cocaine "hidden" under his wig.

Of course, these seizures won't be making any kind of dent on the amount of cocaine that finds its way into the UK: this October, a new study revealed that Europe's two capitals of coke use are both in the UK, with London getting through eight tons a year and Bristol having the most users "per head of population per day".

With boarding school kids, countryside dwellers and anyone who gets antsy after two drinks all getting on it, that's hardly a surprise.