900 Pounds of Cocaine Found in Frozen Onion Ring Shipment

British law enforcement officials recently found 900 pounds of cocaine hidden in a shipment of frozen onion rings, said the United Kingdom's National Crime Agency (NCA) in a news release.

According to the release, Border Force officials stopped the shipment on November 11 at the UK inbound zone in Coquelles, France. A 30-year-old Polish man named Piotr Perzenowski was charged with smuggling class A drugs.

Perzenowski is expected to appear at Canterbury Crown Court on December 13.

Data shared by the British government revealed that drug seizures increased by 20 percent in England and Wales between 2019 and 2020.

"This is the second consecutive annual increase in seizures, reversing a downward trend since [the] year ending March 2012," the government said.

The data also revealed that "seizures of class A drugs increased by 13 percent between years ending March 2019 and 2020." In that period of time, cocaine seizures by police forces and Border Force also increased by 10 percent. However, the quantity seized decreased by nearly 12,000 pounds.

"The quantity of cocaine seized in the year ending March 2019 was particularly large, so the quantity of cocaine seized in the latest year was similar to that seized in the other years of the past decade," the government said.

Still, cocaine was the "second most commonly seized drug" behind marijuana, accounting for 10 percent of all drug seizures.

Regarding last week's seizure, NCA Branch Commander Mark Howes said: "This was a really significant amount of drugs taken out of circulation. The seizure will deprive the organized crime group responsible for them of profit which would have fuelled more offending."

The shipment reportedly held a street value of more than $44 million.

Of course, this isn't the first major drug bust to make headlines in recent months.

On November 12, Customs and Border Protection agents in Laredo, Texas made two seizures of methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana, with an estimated street value of over $53,200,000.

"Attempts to smuggle contraband through commercial supply chains are increasing," Laredo Port of Entry Director Alberto Flores said. "CBP's continued robust enforcement posture and dedication to border security operations has led us to major narcotic interdictions at our cargo facilities."

Last month, three people were arrested after Spanish police seized nearly six tons of cocaine aboard a single-mast sailboat. They referred to the bust as the "largest cocaine haul ever from a sailing vessel."

Police did not release the identities of those taken into custody; however, they did share that one of the men arrested was a sailor wanted in connection with another cocaine haul, Newsweek reported.

Onion rings
British law enforcement officials recently found 900 pounds of cocaine hidden in a shipment of frozen onion rings, said the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency (NCA) in a news release. LeventKonuk/istock