Record UK heroin bust, million were found wrapped.
The UK’s biggest-ever drug bust, close to 1.3 tonnes of heroin whose street value is estimated to be $148 million (£120 million) was seized by the UK authorities. Four people were arrested in connection with the incident from Rotterdam, CNN reported.
According to the statement released by National Crime Agency (NCA), the heroin, hidden in consignments of towels and bathrobes of the MV Gibraltar, was recovered by the NCA and the Border Force on August 30 from Felixstowe.
The 1,297 kg haul of heroin which has a wholesale value of £27 million, is the biggest bust involving drugs in the nation.
“This is a record heroin seizure in the UK and one of the largest ever in Europe. It will have denied organised crime tens of millions of pounds in profits,” Matt Horne, NCA deputy director of investigations, said.
Horne said that the recent drug seizures that took place at Felixstowe indicated the serious threat that drug trafficking posed, leading to violence and exploitation.
“NCA officers on the front line lead the fight against the serious and organised criminals who chase profits while dominating and intimidating communities,” he added.
According to NCA intelligence, the container was on its way to Antwerp, Belgium via Felixstowe. The officers seized the drugs and replaced the drugs in a six-hour operation before the MV Gibraltar continued its voyage to the Belgian port.
The ship arrived at Antwerp on Sept. 1. From there the container was transported to Rotterdam in the Netherlands. The Dutch and Belgian officers who were keeping track of the container arrested four guys from Rotterdam who were unloading the consignment.
“This is a huge seizure — there is no other word for it given the quantities involved — which has kept dangerous drugs off the streets of the UK and mainland Europe,” CNN quoted Jenny Sharp, Border Force Assistant Director at Felixstowe, as saying.
Another seizure which involved 398 kilograms of heroin, worth $48 million, happened at Felixstowe on Aug. 2. That container too was traced down to Antwerp and then to Rotterdam.
According to Horne, a systematic response is needed to reduce the demand for “illegal commodities such as Heroin” in the U.K.