Heroin worth £38.8m found in shipping container of pomegranate juice at Southampton port

The heroin has an estimated street value of £38.8 million. Credit: National Crime Agency

Heroin worth £38.8 million has been discovered from a load of pomegranate juice in a shipping container in Southampton.

The class A drug, weighing 388 kilos, was found inside bottles at the port on Tuesday 23 May by National Crime Agency and Border Force investigators.

Officers arrested three suspects as they began to unload the container, which contained 2.6 tonnes of pomegranate juice at an industrial premises in north east Birmingham.

Tests proved the juice contained heroin as the purple liquid turned red. Credit: National Crime Agency

A fourth man was arrested at an address in Alum Rock, Birmingham.

The four suspects were released on bail.

The bottles of purple juice were proved to contain heroin, as when tested, the liquid turned red.

The class A drug was found inside bottles at Southampton port. Credit: National Crime Agency

Derek Evans, NCA branch commander, said: "The Class A drug trade is a scourge to society and this seizure goes a significant way to helping to protect the public.

"Drugs are inextricably linked with organised crime groups and the use of serious violence which can often spill over wrecking the lives of innocent victims and their families.

"The NCA works at home and abroad to do everything it can to stop heroin coming into the UK and damaging our communities."