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UK police intercept huge drug haul hidden in fruit

British police said on Wednesday they had discovered a tonne of cocaine hidden in a consignment of fruit which was being smuggled into the country from South America.

LONDON, Sept 23 (Reuters) - British police said on Wednesday they had discovered a tonne of cocaine hidden in a consignment of fruit which was being smuggled into the country from South America.

Detectives said the "huge" haul, which they valued at 100 million pounds ($128 million), was found at the port of Dover in southeast England in pallets unloaded from a boat.

Two men, aged 40 and 64, were arrested on suspicion of importing class A drugs. The seizure was part of an operation launched after police infiltrated an encrypted communications service used by criminals.

"This operation has prevented a large amount of cocaine from making it on to our streets, we estimate that once adulterated and sold it could have had a street value of up to £100 million," said Nikki Holland, the National Crime Agency's Director of Investigations.

($1 = 0.7835 pounds)

(Reporting by Michael Holden, Editing by Paul Sandle)

((michael.holden@thomsonreuters.com; +44 207 542 3213; Reuters Messaging: michael.holden.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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