Harwich: �2 million of cannabis seized at docks

CANNABIS worth more than �2 million has been seized by UK Border Agency officers at Harwich docks – the second major drug seizure at the port this month.

Officers discovered 440kg of herbal cannabis and 250kg of cannabis resin – as well as 6kg of amphetamines – in a lorry that arrived on a ferry from the Hook of Holland yesterday.

The drugs were hidden within a cover load of heating equipment, heading to a legitimate business address in Corby.

The UK Border Agency said there is no suggestion that the business is involved in the attempted drug smuggling.

Discrepancies in the lorry’s paperwork prompted officers to stop the vehicle for further checks as it disembarked.

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A detailed examination of the vehicle by UK Border Agency officers identified a series of brown taped packages among the boxes. The drugs have been sent away for testing.

Brian Hill, UK Border Agency assistant director at Harwich, said: “This is the second major haul of cannabis at Harwich in a matter of weeks and it is a credit to the hard work and expertise both of our officers at the port and the investigation team that have taken the case forward.

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“With seizures like these we are sending a clear message to the smugglers that the UK’s border controls are robust and effective.”

Antonius Fredericus Meinders, 53, has been charged with the illegal importation of a Class B drug.

The Dutch national appeared at Colchester Magistrates’ Court today and was remanded in custody until December 14 until his next hearing at the same court.

The latest seizure comes less that two weeks after officers discovered 188kg of cannabis resin at the port.

Following the find on November 10, a 51-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of the illegal importation of a Class B drug.

He is now on bail until February 11.

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

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