Dog walker Valerie McGee reveals how she stumbled across £50m of cocaine on Hopton beach
When Valerie McGee and her pet dog, Rudey, set off on their daily beach walk it seemed like a normal day.
However, as the inquisitive Irish Setter ran along the beach, Ms McGee noticed a cluster of sports bags on the shoreline below Hopton Holiday Village.
This unusual discovery, on Thursday, February 9, proved to be a remarkable one, as contained inside the sports bags were large quantities of the Class-A drug, cocaine.
Ms McGee, 70, a retired psychotherapist, said: “I saw 10 or so sports bags tied together with plastic containers, which seemed to me would have been used as floats.
“Rudey is very inquisitive and did what he always does when he sees something and sniffed the bags before cocking his leg to mark his territory - I don’t expect he will be signed as a sniffer dog any time soon.”
She added: “As I didn’t have my phone on me I carried on walking and when I came home I noticed police walking past my window towards the beach - before I had the chance to report anything.”
Following a further discovery, of the Class A drug, along the coast at Caister the combined street value of the two discoveries could be worth more than £50 million – thought to be the largest find in recent years.
Ms McGee, who lives in Hopton-on-Sea, explained she thought a fellow dog walker had alerted authorities to the bags.
She said: “It crossed my mind it might be something illegal, although I did not look inside as I thought it would be best for the authorities to do that.
“Afterwards when I spoke to my son he told me I watch too many episodes of The Bill but you just recognise these things.
“It certainly was an unusual thing to find on the beach here and I might have been the first person to find the bags but I am unsure for certain.
The National Crime Agency said 360 kilos of the suspected Class-A drug were found at Hopton and Caister.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Norfolk Constabulary on 101.