Cannabis with a street value of more than £8million has been seized at a North East ferry terminal.
Border Force officers working at the ferry terminal in North Shields discovered approximately 1.3 tonnes of cannabis resin, which was concealed in a lorry arriving from the Netherlands.
After intercepting the lorry, which had arrived on a sailing from Ijmuiden carrying crates of bark, officers boarded the vehicle and carried out a search.
Several hundred packages of cannabis resin and herbal cannabis were discovered within the load.
A 35-year-old man from the Netherlands was arrested and has been bailed pending further inquiries.
Following the seizure on February 7, an investigation is being carried out by officers from the National Crime Agency’s Border Policing Command.
Christina Brown, assistant director Border Force North East Command, said: “Cannabis and other illegal drugs are known to be linked with serious and organised crime which has a devastating impact on our communities.
“This seizure by our officers means a significant quantity of drugs has failed to reach the streets and demonstrates Border Force’s commitment to keeping them out of the UK.”
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, which in addition to sniffer dogs includes carbon dioxide detectors, heartbeat monitors 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 smuggling Hotline on 0800 595000.