UK seizes drugs worth £25 million in new record

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

File photo: Heroin powder

The United Kingdom's Border Agency has seized drugs worth £25 million (US$ 40.6 million) after heroin was discovered in a shipment from South Africa.

The discovery was made during an inspection of souvenirs shipped into London's Heathrow Airport, where 165 kg of the drug was recovered. The Serious Organised Crime Agency raided a house in Maidstone, Kent, where a further 80 kg of heroin was discovered. A additional search brought the total to 360 kg, as well as 6,500 kg of herbal cannabis and resin. This includes drugs recovered in Durban, South Africa.

Three of those arrested in South Africa are from the UK and it is thought all of the drugs were for the domestic UK market. One of those arrested in the UK has been charged with possession of heroin with intent to supply.

The heroin was first discovered last week but the events have only now been publicised, as authorities were fearful that earlier revelations would damage their investigation. Five people in South Africa and two in the UK have been arrested. Heroin is a Class A drug in the UK.