Officers believed that on the streets it would be cut with chemicals meaning it would become about 8 tonnes, enough to service one third of the entire UK cocaine market which is estimated at 25 tonnes per year.
The drugs seizure led to six members of an international crime gang being arrested in the Netherlands.
The load was discovered on a £1 million luxury yacht, the Louise. The yacht had been shipped to Southampton on a freight carrier from the British Virgin Islands in June and Dutch drug smugglers then planned to sail it to the Netherlands.
Dutch News has more (emphasis added)
The motor yacht Louise had been loaded onto a ship transporter bound for Holland while in the Caribbean, where it was already under surveillance. The transporter made a scheduled stop in Southampton where the yacht was searched by British and Dutch officials.
After six days, they eventually found the drugs hidden beneath the bathing platform at the back of the boat. The yacht’s owner had tried to pick the boat up in Southampton but were delayed by British officials who said it was no longer seaworthy while the investigation continued.
The drugs, with a street value of €45m, were probably hidden on the yacht in Venezuala, the department said. According to British media reports, the drug was 90% pure and represents the largest find of a Class A drug ever made in the UK.
As reported by The Telegraph in 2008, Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela ’supplies half of Britain’s cocaine’
President Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela has become the key trafficking route for most of the cocaine sold on Britain’s streets, anti-drugs officials believe.