Border Force officers have seized around 100kg of cocaine from a lorry carrying orange juice at Plymouth port.

The seizure was made on September 18 when officers searched a lorry carrying concentrated orange juice that had arrived on the 4.15pm ferry from Santander.

A large quantity of cocaine was found concealed in the trailer.

Tests to establish the final quantity and purity of the drugs are continuing but it is thought that around 100kg was recovered and the total value will run into millions of pounds.

The National Crime Agency’s Border Policing Command is investigating the smuggling attempt.

A 62-year-old man from the Manchester area was arrested and later bailed until November pending further inquiries.

Border Force regional director Carole Upshall said: “This is an extremely impressive seizure and I would like to praise the vigilance and hard work of my officers who have ensured that a substantial amount of cocaine has been kept off our streets.

“Seizures like this demonstrate how Border Force officers are at the forefront of the fight against the trade in illegal drugs.

“Working with law enforcement colleagues including the NCA we are determined to do all we can to prevent drug smuggling and put those responsible behind bars.”

Pete Avery from the National Crime Agency's Border Policing Command, said: “This was a very significant seizure of cocaine worth millions which has been prevented from reaching the streets. It represents a significant dent in the profits of the criminals responsible. "One man has been arrested so far and our investigation continues."

Border Force officers are the front line in protecting the country and play a key role in detecting illegal immigration, disrupting serious and organised crime and helping to prevent the threat of terrorism. Border Force also protects the UK’s revenue, contributing to the nation’s prosperity and growth.

Officers use an array of search techniques including sniffer dogs, 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.

Criminal investigations launched as a result of Border Force seizures of prohibited items and goods are undertaken by officers from the National Crime Agency’s Border Policing Command. The NCA is leading the UK’s fight to cut serious and organised crime, including child exploitation, drug and people smuggling, illegal immigration and fraud and cyber crime.

Anyone with information about activity they suspect may be linked to smuggling should call our hotline on 0800 59 5000.