Gangs are bypassing customs checks to smuggle liquid cocaine into the UK

Gangs are organising shipments from Colombia via Africa and Spain to flood the market.

The drug is dissolved at source and disguised in bottles of shampoo or hidden in products like sugar cane and coconuts.

Underworld sources say the smuggling method makes it hard for airport and port scanners to detect the drugs.

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Authorities are on alert after an alleged crime boss from Liverpool was charged after the seizure of drugs worth £2million, including liquid cocaine.

Last month, Colombian police seized about 3.5 tons of cocaine. It had been dissolved and mixed in shipments of organic fertiliser and molasses.

One shipment was bound for Spain and was expected to be sent on to the UK and Ireland.

It was the fifth seizure of liquid cocaine since November 2021 and came a week after the discovery of nearly 20,000 coconuts filled with liquid cocaine.

A source close to a drug gang in the North West said: “Once it arrives it’s sent on to factories where it’s brought back to its original state using a decanting process.

“You could lose a bit of product but people are willing to take that risk to get through controls.”

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Cocaine addiction in the UK has continued to rise according to rehabilitation groups. Last year, Rehabs UK revealed that 75% of its drug-related enquiries were concerned with cocaine addictions.

In 2021, in response to the growth, the government announced a 10 year drug plan to cut down on usage, which promised “an investment of over £3billion in the next three years.”

As a result, sentencing carrying more than four years for selling cocaine doubled in 2021, according to the Ministry of Justice.

Convictions for men between the age of 25-39 more than doubled between 2017 and 2021. While convictions for women supplying and dealing cocaine increased by 75%

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