Customs inspectors have seized 44kg of cocaine that was in transit in Malta on its way from Ecuador to Cyprus

The Customs Department said the drugs were found in packets hidden in a refrigerated container.

Following a scan using a recently-commissioned new Nuctech scanner, 35 packets containing a white substance were found behind a panel above the refrigerant compressor.

The substance was tested and preliminary results indicated cocaine. The approximate street value is €4.5 million.

The case was handed over to the police Drug Squad for further investigation. Magistrate Joe Mifsud is holding an inquiry.

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