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Smiths Detection technology helps German authorities seize major drugs haul

April 7, 2021


The largest amount of cocaine to have ever been seized in Europe – 16 tons – has recently been found by German customs authorities by using Smiths Detection‘s stationary container inspection system HCVS.

Across Europe, many customs authorities work collaboratively to share risk analysis in order to identify and intercept suspicious containers entering European borders. Thanks to this collaborative arrangement, German Customs were alerted to a suspicious container and used the HCVS to conduct an initial X-ray analysis of its contents.

Image evaluation showed significant irregularities in the load which has been declared as filler in cans. Once the containers were unloaded, it was revealed that numerous cans were filled with cocaine instead. With the help of the container inspection system more than 16,000 kilograms of cocaine in over 1,700 cocaine filled cans were found by the German Customs, with a street value of several billion euros.

Alexander Rund, Director Sales & After Sales North & East Europe, says: “As manufacturer of this screening technology, we are very proud and happy to contribute to making the world a safe place. This motivates us to be an important partner in all relevant security issues for authorities and industry in the future.”

In addition to the stationary system in Hamburg, a further 15 Smiths Detection mobile container inspection systems are operated by the German Customs to intercept threats and contraband. Smiths Detection’s HCVS is used all around the world – from the United Kingdom to Japan. With its help, numerous illegal imports of alcohol, cigarettes or weapons have been prevented in the past.

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