Massive drugs and arms cache seized

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The Independent Online

A huge drugs and arms cache was discovered in a spot check of a lorry at Dover docks yesterday, Customs investigators said. The haul was hidden in two crane arms being brought into Britain from Belgium.

A huge drugs and arms cache was discovered in a spot check of a lorry at Dover docks yesterday, Customs investigators said. The haul was hidden in two crane arms being brought into Britain from Belgium.

It included amphetamines and ecstasy worth £2m, 24 handguns, one sub-machine pistol and 300 rounds of ammunition, said the Customs' National Investigation Service.

Police and Customs have been on the look-out for criminal gangs creating stockpiles of rave drugs for a lucrative blitz on the millennium party scene. Customs have seized more than 325 kilograms of ecstasy since October, compared with 250kgs for the whole of last year.

Yesterday, 135kg of amphetamines were seized. Only 600kg have been recovered in the rest of the year. The amphetamines and 15kg of ecstasy came to light in an "intuitive" search of the lorry as it came off the ferry. When one crane arm was turned over, the illegal goods were revealed.

The driver, a 46-year-old from Doncaster, South Yorkshire, is being questioned. A Customs spokesman said: "When you're talking about this quantity of drugs combined with firearms you're talking about organised crime."

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