Police seize 20m pounds of heroin on M1: Record haul found hidden in tomato lorry
The 200kg seizure was made early on Friday at Scratchwood service station on the M1 in north London, ending a long surveillence operation. Customs officers said last night that a Turkish lorry driver, aged 33, would appear in court in east London this morning charged with importing heroin.
The quantity is almost half the total amount of heroin seized by Customs officers during the past year - 449kg.
According to Customs sources, officers had received a tip-off that the lorry was on its way. When it arrived at Dover last Saturday, it was placed under surveillance.
It was monitored as it was driven north, eventually arriving in Liverpool where the driver unloaded the tomatoes at a legitimate company but no attempt was made to unload the heroin. Customs officers believe it was destined for Merseyside but suspect their surveillance was spotted by the traffickers who held back from making a pick-up.
Surveillance continued as the lorry headed south down the M1. At Scratchwood services, where the lorry stopped, Customs officers, backed by armed Regional Crime Squad officers, moved in, arrested the driver and seized the heroin.
The heroin is believed to have originated from the Golden Crescent area on the borders of Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan. Police and Customs officers are concerned that heroin remains as potent a threat as cocaine and will be particularly relieved to make such a large seizure. During the first half of 1993, Customs seizures fell from 225kg to 135kg. But police seizures rose from 18kg to 60kg, suggesting that more may have been reaching the streets.
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage
Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour
- 2 Scottish independence: What you shouldn't tweet about if you want to avoid jail today
- 3 Scottish independence: Five reasons Salmond is secretly hoping for a 'No' vote
- 4 Isis plan to 'behead random member of the public' in Sydney thwarted by Australian police
- 5 Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Scottish independence referendum live: Clackmannanshire blazes the trail as 54% vote No while Yes trails with 46%
Scottish independence: Final opinion polls show undecided voters could swing result either way
Isis plan to 'behead random member of the public' in Sydney thwarted by Australian police
Scottish independence: Andy Murray backs Yes campaign in eleventh hour decision
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Promising volunteer Trustee op...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...
£110 - £130 per hour: Randstad Education Reading: Psychology Teacher needed fo...
£85 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Randstad Education are curren...