Image Courtesy: UK National Crime Agency

British authorities have removed around 398 kilograms of heroin from a shipping container in what was described as one of the largest ever seizures of this drug in the United Kingdom.

The country’s National Crime Agency had identified a container vessel suspected to be carrying a large drugs shipment en route Antwerp, Belgium.

The undisclosed vessel docked in Felixstowe on August 1 and the following day officers from Border Force and the NCA removed a container in which the heroin was concealed within a cover load of towels and bathrobes.

The heroin was removed and the container returned to the boxship, which carried on to the port of Antwerp.

On arrival, the container was collected by lorry and taken to Rotterdam – all the time under police surveillance. On 5 August, 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 is currently being questioned by NCA officers.

The drugs would be worth at least GBP 9 million (USD 10.9 million) to organised criminals selling the whole consignment at wholesale, and at least GBP 40 million (USD 48.6 million) at street level in the UK and other European countries.