Officers seize heroin with street value of £120 million, the largest haul in UK history
The haul is estimated to be worth in excess of £120 million (approximately €132 million) at street level.
Nearly 1.3 tonnes of heroin were recovered from a container ship after it docked at the port of Felixstowe in the United Kingdom last week.
Revealing details of the haul on Tuesday, the National Crime Agency (NCA) said that intelligence had figured that the heroin would be on the vessel when it docked in the UK en route to Antwerp.
The haul is the biggest in the history of the UK, with the heroin estimated to be worth approximately £27 million (approximately €30 million) to organised criminals at wholesale level, and an estimated £120 million (approximately €132 million) at street level.
Upon arrival of law enforcement agencies, officers moved in and arrested four people who were in the process of unloading the drugs.
The ship arrived on 30 August, and was searched by officers from Border Force and the NCA.
A total of 1,297kg of the substance was found, concealed among a cover load of towels and bathrobes.
Discussing the haul, NCA Deputy Director of Investigations, Matt Horne, said:
"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, and is the result of a targeted, intelligence-led investigation, carried out by the NCA with international and UK partners.
"The size of this and other recent shipments demonstrate the scale of the threat we face.
"We can be certain that some of these drugs would eventually have been sold in the UK, fuelling high levels of violence and exploitation including what we see in county lines offending nationwide."