MORE than £20million of cocaine has been seized at Harwich Port after the drug was found hidden in frozen meat.

Border Force stopped a Dutch-registered refrigerated HGV arriving into the port from the Hook of Holland on Monday.

Officers found packages of cocaine were wrapped in blocks of frozen meat which were in pallets in the back of the truck.

More than 200 kilos was seized.

Southend Standard: The cocaine arrived into the UK via Harwich PortThe cocaine arrived into the UK via Harwich Port

The National Crime Agency subsequently launched an investigation.

National Crime Agency branch commander Jacque Beer said:

“While forensic checks are still being carried out on this seizure, it is likely that the total haul would have had a street value in excess of £20 million once cut and sold at a street purity level.

“Our investigation into those responsible is continuing, but we can say that this will have put a big dent in the profits of the criminal network likely to be behind it and caused them substantial disruption.

“The illicit drug trade is a key driver behind the gang violence and exploitation we see on UK streets, which is why we, along with partners like Border Force, are determined to do all we can to stop drugs at source and protect the public.

“This was an excellent detection by our Border Force colleagues.”

A man has been charged with attempting to import class A drugs.

Robert Tromp, 48, from Hillegom, in the Netherlands, was arrested and later charged with the importation offence.

He appeared before Colchester Magistrates’ Court yesterday where he was remanded in custody until his next appearance at Chelmsford Crown Court on December 12.