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German customs seize 4.5 tons of cocaine, worth $1.1 billion

BERLIN (AP) — German customs authorities say they have seized 4.5 tons (nearly 5 U.S. tons) of cocaine in a container shipped from Uruguay, a haul with an estimated street value of nearly 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion).

The customs office in Hamburg said Friday that the drugs were seized two weeks ago when it checked the container that was en route from Montevideo to Antwerp, Belgium. The paperwork stated that it was loaded with soya beans, but customs officials could only see black sports bags when they opened it up.

They found more than 4,200 packets of cocaine in the 211 bags. It was Germany's biggest single seizure of cocaine to date. The customs office said that the drugs have already been destroyed "amid strict secrecy and extensive security precautions."

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