In one of the largest ever seizures of heroin in UK history, British law enforcement have seized £40 million ($48.7 million) worth of the drug after an international operation, the country’s National Crime Agency (NCA) said Tuesday.
Officers from the Border Force and the NCA acted Friday on intelligence that identified a suspicious vessel in Felixstowe, England, the agency said.
Inside, officers uncovered a container with approximately 398 kilograms of heroin, concealed under a load of towels and bathrobes.
“The drugs would be worth at least £9m to organized criminals selling the whole consignment at wholesale, and at least £40m at street level in the UK and other European countries,” the NCA said.
The heroin was removed and the container returned to the vessel and sent on its way.
After arriving in the port of Antwerp, Belgium, the container was moved by truck to the Dutch city of Rotterdam, all under close police watch. When suspects took steps to unload the contents, Dutch police swooped in.
Two arrests have been made by Dutch Police. A man from Bromsgrove, UK, has also been arrested.
“Substantial seizures like this help to keep communities safe and hit the organized crime groups involved in the international drugs trade hard,” said Border Force Deputy Director Mark Kennedy.