£4m drugs among festive decorations
Wednesday 23 November 2011
Drugs worth £4.1 million have been found in a trailer full of Christmas decorations, the UK Border Agency said.
The haul of heroin, cocaine, amphetamine and cannabis was found in a trailer that arrived at the port of Harwich on a ferry from the Netherlands in the early hours of last Thursday.
When officers searched the trailer they found a series of pallets containing Christmas decorations and artificial Christmas trees. The drugs had been concealed in some of the pallets underneath a top layer of festive decorations.
In total, 235kg of amphetamine, 85kg of cannabis resin, 18kg of cocaine, 17kg of herbal cannabis and 15kg of heroin was recovered.
Malcolm Bragg, assistant director of the UK Border Agency's criminal and financial investigation team, said: "You would not expect to find a haul of illegal drugs underneath a Christmas tree, but our officers are trained to expect the unexpected.
"Drug smugglers are ruthless criminals who will stoop to any level in their attempts to get their contraband cargo into the UK.
"Their clear hope in this particular enterprise was that by badging the load as seemingly innocent decorations the drugs would escape detection."
A 53-year-old Belgian man was arrested in connection with the seizure. He has now been released on bail pending further investigation.
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