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£40 million of heroin seized at Felixstowe - one of largest seizures in UK

PUBLISHED: 14:17 06 August 2019 | UPDATED: 10:24 07 August 2019

Officers from Border Force and the NCA removed a container from a vessel in Felixstowe  in which approximately 398 Kilograms of heroin was concealed within a cover load of towels and bathrobes  Picture: NCA

Officers from Border Force and the NCA removed a container from a vessel in Felixstowe in which approximately 398 Kilograms of heroin was concealed within a cover load of towels and bathrobes Picture: NCA

NCA

A massive haul of heroin has been seized at the Port of Felixstowe - worth an estimated £40 million.

The seizure is believed to be one of the largest of its kind ever in the UK.

Officers from Border Force and the NCA removed a container from a vessel in Felixstowe  in which approximately 398 Kilograms of heroin was concealed within a cover load of towels and bathrobes  Picture: NCAOfficers from Border Force and the NCA removed a container from a vessel in Felixstowe in which approximately 398 Kilograms of heroin was concealed within a cover load of towels and bathrobes Picture: NCA

Officers from the Border Force and National Crime Agency (NCA) received intelligence that a container ship containing a large drugs shipment had arrived at the port on its way to Antwerp in Belgium.

Officers from Border Force and the NCA removed a container from a vessel in Felixstowe  in which approximately 398 Kilograms of heroin was concealed within a cover load of towels and bathrobes  Picture: NCAOfficers from Border Force and the NCA removed a container from a vessel in Felixstowe in which approximately 398 Kilograms of heroin was concealed within a cover load of towels and bathrobes Picture: NCA

Having docked at the Suffolk port on August 1, the next day officers removed a container from the ship - discovering 398 kg of heroin concealed with towels and bathrobes.

Officers from Border Force and the NCA removed a container from a vessel in Felixstowe  in which approximately 398 Kilograms of heroin was concealed within a cover load of towels and bathrobes  Picture: NCAOfficers from Border Force and the NCA removed a container from a vessel in Felixstowe in which approximately 398 Kilograms of heroin was concealed within a cover load of towels and bathrobes Picture: NCA

After removing the drugs, the container was put back on board and the vessel was allowed to make it's way to the continent.

Officers from Border Force and the NCA removed a container from a vessel in Felixstowe  in which approximately 398 Kilograms of heroin was concealed within a cover load of towels and bathrobes  Picture: NCAOfficers from Border Force and the NCA removed a container from a vessel in Felixstowe in which approximately 398 Kilograms of heroin was concealed within a cover load of towels and bathrobes Picture: NCA

When it arrived, the container was unloaded by a lorry and tracked by officers as it made its way to Rotterdam.

Officers from Border Force and the NCA removed a container from a vessel in Felixstowe  in which approximately 398 Kilograms of heroin was concealed within a cover load of towels and bathrobes  Picture: NCAOfficers from Border Force and the NCA removed a container from a vessel in Felixstowe in which approximately 398 Kilograms of heroin was concealed within a cover load of towels and bathrobes Picture: NCA

On August 5 Dutch police swooped as suspects began to unload the container, making two arrests.

Officers from Border Force and the NCA removed a container from a vessel in Felixstowe  in which approximately 398 Kilograms of heroin was concealed within a cover load of towels and bathrobes  Picture: NCAOfficers from Border Force and the NCA removed a container from a vessel in Felixstowe in which approximately 398 Kilograms of heroin was concealed within a cover load of towels and bathrobes Picture: NCA

At the same time, officers from the NCA arrested a man from Bromsgrove.

Officers from Border Force and the NCA removed a container from a vessel in Felixstowe  in which approximately 398 Kilograms of heroin was concealed within a cover load of towels and bathrobes  Picture: NCAOfficers from Border Force and the NCA removed a container from a vessel in Felixstowe in which approximately 398 Kilograms of heroin was concealed within a cover load of towels and bathrobes Picture: NCA

He is currently being questioned by detectives.

The heroin is estimated to be worth at least £9 million to organised criminals selling the entire haul wholesale, however, the estimated street level value of the drugs in the UK and other European countries is estimated to be at least £40 million.

NCA regional Operations Manager, Colin Williams, said: "The seizure of such a large quantity of heroin is the result of a targeted, intelligence-led investigation, carried out by the NCA with international and UK partners.

"It is almost certain that some of these drugs would have been sold in the UK, fuelling violence and exploitation including what we see in county lines offending nationwide.

"The heroin trade also feeds addictions that put users' lives at risk, while giving rise to crime such as theft which make people feel unsafe in their communities.

"The NCA works in the UK and with partners around the world to target the crime groups posing the greatest threat to the UK."

Mark Kennedy, Border Force Deputy Director, said: "Border Force officers operate on the front line, working every day to keep dangerous Class A drugs like this off the UK's streets.

"Substantial seizures like this help to keep communities safe and hit the organised crime groups involved in the international drugs trade hard."

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