Cocaine worth 1 billion Euros seized in Germany

The illegal drugs were discovered two weeks ago in a Netherlands-bound shipping container from Uruguay during a search in the northern port city of Hamburg. (AFP Photo)

German authorities on Friday said they had seized 4.5 tonnes of cocaine worth 1 billion euros ($1.11 billion) in the northern port city of Hamburg - the nation's biggest drugs haul to date.

The Hamburg customs office said it had examined a suspicious shipping container two weeks ago that came from the Uruguayan capital Montevideo and was bound for the Belgian city of Antwerp.

The container's description said it was loaded with soybeans but authorities instead found 221 black sports bags containing 4,200 packets of pressed cocaine, the office said in a statement.

"This enormous amount represents the largest single seizure of cocaine in Germany," it said, adding that the Hamburg prosecutor's office was investigating who was destined to receive the contents of the container.

"The confiscated cocaine was destroyed under strict and extensive security measures," it added.

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