cocaine Credit: -/Hamburg Customs Investigation Office/dpa

dpa/GNA – German authorities have discovered more than 16 tons of cocaine in five containers that were shipped from Paraguay.

The drugs were found on February 12 and constitute the largest cocaine seizure in European history, customs officials said on Wednesday.

Underneath cans of real goods, authorities came across metal canisters weighing 20 kilograms, each containing eight cocaine packages weighing more than 9 kilograms apiece. There were more than 1,700 cans filled with drugs.

As part of the same investigation, authorities in the Belgian port city of Antwerp seized more than 7.2 tons on Sunday.

A man from Vlaardingen near Rotterdam was arrested in the Netherlands on Wednesday morning. The 28-year-old is suspected of being responsible for importing the more than 23 tons of cocaine.

“We are probably only seeing the tip of the iceberg,” Greens lawmaker Irene Mihalic said.

“Furthermore, the fight against money laundering must have the highest priority in order to prevent the infiltration into legal economic areas by criminals,” she said.

Further investigations would be carried out on behalf of the Hamburg public prosecutor and in close coordination with Dutch authorities.

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