(RNN) - Five men were arrested Tuesday after an estimated $70.68 million worth of cocaine was seized from a private jet, United Kingdom authorities said.
Border Force officers confiscated approximately half a ton of cocaine found on the jet at Farnborough Airport in England, according to the National Crime Agency.
The plane had departed from Bogota, Colombia.
The men, two British, two Spanish and one Italian, were arrested on suspicion of importing the drugs.
The seizure was one of the largest in UK history, said Border Force officials.
The plane had come direct from Bogota, Colombia. Packages of cocaine were found hidden in suitcases that were on board. Those arrested are now being questioned by NCA officers. Many thanks to @HantsPolice for their assistance at the scene https://t.co/LTuNO1y4iD pic.twitter.com/WYzvZNWQ4x
— NationalCrimeAgency (@NCA_UK) January 30, 2018
“After meeting the flight and questioning those on board, officers became suspicious and searched the aircraft and their luggage,” said Chief Operating Officer Mike Stepney.
“When opened, each case was found to contain between 34 to 37 tape wrapped packages weighing approximately one kilogram each. One of these was pierced and a white powder exposed which tested positive for cocaine,” Stepney said.
Officers also seized computers and phones from three addresses in Bournemouth, which is two hours southwest of London.
The plane crew was also questioned but released without charge.
By comparison, Colombian officials seized $360 million worth of drugs in 2017 bound for the U.S.
Copyright 2018 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.