At the Port of Southampton last Friday, Border Force officers found almost a tonne of cocaine being smuggled into the country inside bananas from Colombia.
The haul, which was heading to Antwerp in Belgium, is believed to have a street value of around £72m.
The drugs had been concealed in bananas on board a commercial shipping container.
Border Force regional director, Tim Kingsberry, said: ‘This significant seizure has removed a large amount of dangerous drugs from the streets, which not only reduces the significant harm they cause to communities but also makes a huge dent in the profits of smugglers.’
The officers have been praised by home secretary Priti Patel.
She said: ‘This was drug smuggling on an industrial scale so I’m delighted that Border Force officers have prevented such a large quantity of dangerous goods from reaching our streets.
‘Drugs devastate communities, line the pockets of serious criminals, and are a serious driver of the violence which ruins young lives right across the country.
‘We are sending a strong signal to criminals in the UK and abroad seeking to smuggle drugs into or through the UK: your efforts will fail and we will use every part of our law enforcement powers to stop drugs from coming into the UK.’