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Drug smugglers tried to bring £11.3m of cannabis resin hidden in flat packed wooden crates into Kent

PUBLISHED: 12:01 18 July 2017 | UPDATED: 12:01 18 July 2017

Port of Dover

Port of Dover

Archant

A 50-year-old man was arrested at an address in Hythe last Friday and has been released on bail

Drug smugglers who hid more than £11m of cannabis resin in a lorry carrying pallets of flat packed wooden crates have been stopped by Border Force.

Officers at the UK’s border control at Dover stopped a Bulgarian-registered lorry last Wednesday which, when searched, was found to contain 143 packages, each weighing approximately 30Kg, hidden in specially hollowed out sections within each pallet.

Tests identified the packages as cannabis, with a total weight of 4.3 tonnes and an estimated street value of £11.3m.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) is investigating the smuggling attempt.

Cameron Bryson, acting deputy director Border Force South East and Europe, said: “By thwarting this smuggling attempt, Border Force has stopped a vast quantity of illegal drugs from reaching the UK’s streets and prevented criminals from lining their pockets with a substantial profit.

“Border Force officers are at the forefront of the fight to keep illegal drugs out of the country and we continue to work with law enforcement partners to tackle these crimes.”

Officers arrested a 42-year-old Bulgarian man who has been released under investigation.

On Friday, the NCA arrested a 50-year-old Brit at an address in Hythe. He was released on bail pending further enquiries.

Border Force officers use hi-tech search equipment to combat immigration crime and detect banned and restricted goods that smugglers attempt to bring into the country.

They use an array of search techniques including sniffer dogs, carbon dioxide detectors, heartbeat detection equipment and scanners - as well as visual searches - to find well-hidden stowaways, illegal drugs, firearms and tobacco which would otherwise end up causing harm to local people, businesses and communities.

Anyone with information about activity they suspect may be linked to smuggling should call the hotline on 0800 59 5000.

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