Ton of tobacco and 200,000 cigarettes found in Stansted Airport smuggle bust

. Pc Hayley Peek with Border Force officers Sandra Aves (centre) and Wendy Jones with some of one to

. Pc Hayley Peek with Border Force officers Sandra Aves (centre) and Wendy Jones with some of one ton consignment of hand-rolling tobacco and some of the 200,000 cigarettes smuggled to Stansted on a freight aircraft - Credit: Archant

A ton of hand-rolling tobacco, 200,000 cigarettes and 92kg of loose tobacco were discovered when a cargo plane was searched at Stansted Airport yesterday (Thursday).

Border Force officers found the contraband together with a quantity of Class B drugs during part of its week-long countywide operation.

Fifty kilos of heroin, with a street value of around £2.5 million, were also discovered during a lorry search at Harwich port on Monday.

Tom Dowdall, deputy director of the National Crime Agency’s Border Policing Command, said: “This week highlights the crucial work that law enforcement performs on a daily basis in combating the scourge of organised criminals that trade in guns, drugs and human trafficking.

“What is essential is the engagement with those working, living in and travelling through the UK’s port and airfield communities.

Both discoveries were made as part of a week of heightened operational activity by law enforcement agencies in Essex aiming to “protect the public from the threat of terrorism and organised crime”.

Numerous operations across the UK saw police forces working with partner agencies to target the illegal passage of cash, weapons, drugs, goods and people through ports.

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The operations also aim to promote greater awareness among passengers and port employees.

Mr Dowall added: “Reporting something slightly unusual could be the piece of information that helps prevent the misery brought by drugs, weapons and human trafficking from reaching Britain’s streets.”