Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Huge Seizure of Heroin Found in Import Shipping Container at UK Port Bound for Netherlands

International Gang Fixing to Sell Drugs Transhipped in Antwerp Throughout Europe
Shipping News Feature
UK – BELGIUM – NETHERLANDS – An international law enforcement investigation has resulted in one of the largest ever seizures of heroin in the UK. National Crime Agency (NCA) intelligence had identified a container vessel suspected of carrying a large drugs shipment en route to Antwerp, Belgium hidden in one of the inbound boxes.

The vessel, which shall remain nameless, docked in the Port of Felixstowe on August 1, and the following day, officers from Border Force and the NCA removed a container in which approximately 398 kilogrammes of heroin was concealed within a cover 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 under police surveillance. On August 5, as suspects took steps to unload the contents, Dutch Police moved in and made two arrests. The NCA simultaneously arrested a man from Bromsgrove who was questioned by NCA officers.

Experts say the drugs would be worth at least £9 million to organised criminals selling the entire consignment at wholesale prices, and at least £40 million at street level in the UK and other European countries. 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.”