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Stash of £4m gold bars ‘belonging to South American drug lords’ are finally seized by UK authorities after they were intercepted at Heathrow Airport four years ago

  • NCA obtained a civil recovery order for about 80 per cent of the seized gold
  • Gold was headed to to Switzerland from the Cayman Islands when it was seized

Investigators are now able to recover £4million worth of gold belonging to South American drugs cartels that was seized at Heathrow Airport nearly four years ago.

The gold, weighing around 104 kilograms, was on its way to Switzerland from the Cayman Islands when it was intercepted by UK Border Force agents in June 2019.

It had previously arrived in the Caymans from Venezuela on a private jet.

The gold has been held under the Proceeds of Crime Act. But now the National Crime Agency (NCA) has obtained a recovery order that will allow investigators to take possession of it, The Mirror reported.

Now, following settlement discussions and an application to the High Court, the NCA has now obtained a civil recovery order for about 80 per cent of the seized gold. The remainder of the gold will reportedly be returned to 'companies with a financial interest' in it

Now, following settlement discussions and an application to the High Court, the NCA has now obtained a civil recovery order for about 80 per cent of the seized gold. The remainder of the gold will reportedly be returned to ‘companies with a financial interest’ in it

Officers from Border Force, acting on intelligence from the NCA, moved in to detain the shipment at Heathrow Airport on June 1, 2019.

The gold, found in the cargo section of the plane, then became the subject of a money laundering investigation being run by the Cayman authorities, with the assistance of the NCA.

Investigators worked closely together to prove that suspected cartel members had created a fake paperwork trail to hide the true origin of the gold.

The officers also determined that the individuals involved in the gold’s movement were linked to organised crime.

Now, following settlement discussions and an application to the High Court, the NCA has now obtained a civil recovery order for about 80 per cent of the seized gold.

The remainder of the gold will reportedly be returned to ‘companies with a financial interest’ in it.

NCA Branch Commander Andy Noyes told the newspaper that criminals looking to move drugs money are ‘attracted to gold due to the high value contained in relatively small amounts.’

He argued that the seizure ‘disrupted the criminal network’ and stopped the drugs cartels from ‘reinvesting in further criminality that causes harm to our communities.’

MailOnline has approached the NCA for comment. 

The gold, found in the cargo section of the plane, then became the subject of a money laundering investigation being run by the Cayman authorities, with the assistance of the NCA

The gold, found in the cargo section of the plane, then became the subject of a money laundering investigation being run by the Cayman authorities, with the assistance of the NCA 

Investigators worked closely together to prove that suspected cartel members had created a fake paperwork trail to hide the true origin of the gold

Investigators worked closely together to prove that suspected cartel members had created a fake paperwork trail to hide the true origin of the gold 



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