GOLD bars worth £4million belonging to a South American drugs cartel have been seized by police at Heathrow.
The 104kg haul had been on the way from the Cayman Islands to Switzerland.
Officers acting on intelligence from the National Crime Agency acted after finding out that the bars had been shipped to the Caribbean islands on a private jet which had arrived from Venezuela.
The gold is now the subject of a money laundering investigation run by the Cayman authorities with the assistance of the NCA.
Its Heathrow commander Steve McIntyre said: “We believe this shipment was linked to drugs cartels operating out of South America. Working with partners overseas and in the UK, we were able to stop its onward movement.”
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Nick Jariwalla, of Border Force at Heathrow, said: “Taking money or gold out of the control of criminal networks hits them where they feel it most, in the pocket.”
The gold has been seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act, following a hearing at Uxbridge magistrates’ court, West London.
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