Abiola Seun |
More than a tonne of drugs – 1,196 kilogrammes of heroin and morphine derivatives – were recovered from containership Maersk Sembawang after it docked at the UK’s Port of Felixstowe earlier this month.
The international operation in which the massive haul of potentially deadly Class A drugs was stopped from hitting UK streets was led by the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA).
The 6,478 TEU Singapore-flagged ship, owned by Danish shipping major Maersk, arrived in Felixtowe on 12 September from Rotterdam, VesselsValue’s data shows.
The haul would be worth around £21 million ($26.8 million) to organised criminals at wholesale, and in excess of £120 million at street level.
After it docked on 12 September, the container was searched by NCA officers with support from Border Force. The drugs were hidden in bags of rice.
The seizure is one of the largest ever of heroin in the UK, according to NCA.
Under surveillance by Dutch and Belgian law enforcement agencies, the container was driven by lorry to a warehouse south of the Hague, the Netherlands.
“This is a huge seizure which has denied organised criminals tens of millions of pounds in profits, and is the result of a targeted, intelligence-led investigation, carried out by the NCA with international and UK partners,” Nikki Holland, NCA Director of Investigations, said.
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