A BROMSGROVE man has been arrested in connection one of the largest ever seizures of heroin in the UK.
The £40million worth of the class A drug was picked up on a container vessel heading for Antwerp in Belgium.
The ship docked in Felixstowe on Thursday and the following day officers from Border Force and the National Crime Agency (NCA) removed a container in which had 398kg of heroin concealed in it. The drugs were covered within a load of towels and bathrobes.
The heroin was removed and the container returned to the vessel, which carried on to the port of Antwerp.
On arrival, the container was collected by lorry and taken to Rotterdam – all the time under police surveillance.
Then on Sunday as suspects took steps to unload the contents, the Dutch Police moved in and arrested two people.
At exactly the same time, NCA officers arrested a man from Bromsgrove who is currently being quizzed by officers.
The drugs would be worth at least £9million to organised criminals selling the whole consignment at wholesale.
Its street value in the UK and in other European countries would be at least £40million.
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’s 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.”