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World

AFP
August 7, 2019

UK police make record heroin haul

World

AFP
Wed, Aug 07, 2019

LONDON: British police announced Tuesday one of their largest ever seizures of heroin, intercepting hundreds of kilos of the drug hidden under towels and bathrobes in a shipping container.

The August 2 seizure at the port of Felixstowe in eastern England followed an international probe and resulted in the subsequent arrest of several suspects in the Netherlands and Britain.

The approximately 398 kilograms (877 pounds) of heroin -- found on a vessel bound for Antwerp, Belgium -- has a street value of around £40 million ($49 million, 43 million euros), according to Britain´s National Crime Agency (NCA).

"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," said Colin Williams of the NCA.

Police and Border Force officers raided the suspect vessel and removed the contraband, which was concealed within the cover load of towels and bathrobes, after it had docked at Felixstowe on August 1.

However, they returned the container to the ship and allowed it to proceed -- under surveillance -- to Belgium, where it was collected by lorry and taken to the Dutch port of Rotterdam.

Police in the Netherlands then swooped in on Monday, arresting two suspects as they tried to unload the heroin.

At the same time the NCA arrested a man in Britain.

"Substantial seizures like this help to keep communities safe and hit the organised crime groups involved in the international drugs trade hard," Border Force Deputy Director Mark Kennedy said.