A HUGE haul of drugs with a street value of around £14.5million has been seized at Purfleet.

Heroin, cocaine, amphetamine and cannabis were concealed in boxes of saucepans which had arrived at the port on a trailer from the Netherlands.

The seizure is the biggest-ever at the Purfleet Thames Terminal port, which handles 250,000 trailers, containers and tanks every year.

A 34-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of being knowingly concerned in the importation of Class A & B drugs. He has been bailed until April.

The drugs, which were discovered on Sunday, January 19, had a combined weight of 700kg. The quantity of the four Class A and B drugs is described as "significant".

Investigations by the National Crime Agency’s Border Policing Command, are ongoing.

Mark Kennedy, Border Force Assistant Director at Tilbury, said: “This represents the biggest combined seizure of illegal drugs in the history of the port and by making it, Border Force has dealt a significant blow to the criminals involved.

Thurrock Gazette: cocaine seized at purfleet

The stash of cocaine found on the trailer from the Netherlands

"Drug smuggling is big business and if anyone needed confirmation of that, it is provided by seizures of this scale.

"Detections like this demonstrate how Border Force officers are at the forefront of the fight to keep illegal drugs and other banned substances off the streets."

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.

Since April 2013, more than £38million worth of drugs have been seized at ports in Thurrock.

Thurrock Gazette: saucepans seized at purfleet

The drugs were concealed in a shipment of cookware, which included saucepans

Thurrock Gazette: heroin seized at purfleet

A box of heroin found in the trailer. A man has been arrested.