Police in Gambia have seized two tons of cocaine with a street value of about $1 billion, the largest-ever drug seizure in West Africa.

Police say the cocaine was discovered with the help of British investigators on June 4, inside a hidden room at a warehouse outside the Gambian capital, Banjul.

Authorities have arrested 12 people from various countries in connection to the drugs.  The suspects include the Dutch owner and Venezuelan employees of a Gambia-based fishing company that served as a front for their drug operations.

The deputy director of Britain's Serious Organized Crime Agency, Neil Giles, said it was highly likely the drugs were headed for Europe or Britain.  He said removing the cocaine and the profits it would have generated is a "major blow" to the drug cartel's operations.

West Africa's coast has become a major trafficking hub as drug cartels from Latin America seek to take advantage of the often weak and corrupt governance in the region.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.