A PACKAGE of cocaine worth at least £250,000 was discovered at a clothing factory in Matlock.
Staff at John Smedley found what they believed to be drugs hidden amongst a shipment of cotton from Peru, South America.
The police were immediately informed and upon arrival they discovered five kilograms of cocaine stashed in a rucksack in the container.
A spokesman for John Smedley said: “It was a shock to those who found it, but at the time we didn’t know exactly what it was.
“Obviously we guessed it was drugs and I suppose it was quite exciting really – a bit like being in a film or something.”
Police have now launched a full investigation to determine where the drugs came from and where they were heading to.
Detective Chief Inspector Sean Dawson said: “This is certainly one of the biggest seizures we’ve had in Derbyshire for a long time.
“We’re full of praise for the staff at John Smedley, though, as they were very quick to contact us about it and handled the situation extremely sensitively.”
DCI Dawson added that the purity of cocaine seized from users across Derbyshire can be as low as six per cent and sells at roughly £35 to £55 per gram.
He said: “We are still waiting to find out the purity of this cocaine, but if it’s at least 40 per cent then after it’s been cut by dealers it could have a street value of around £1million.
“So, somebody somewhere is hugely out of pocket.”
While police are still unsure where the drugs were due to be sold, it is not thought that the cocaine was intended for the Dales and DCI Dawson would like to assure people that the area is not noted for having a cocaine problem.
He said: “Most of the drugs into Derbyshire come from Manchester and Nottingham and it is rare for packages of this size to end up in Matlock.
“There’s quite a big possibility that whoever put the drugs into the container accidentally put them in the wrong one.”
The sealed container from Peru made a brief stop in Europe before arriving in England and its possible that the drugs were hidden at this point.
DCI Dawson added: “Drug dealing is a blight on our society and whenever we receive information about drugs in our communities we act on it.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.