£38.8million worth of heroin was found in boxes of pomegranate juice.
The 2.6 tonne Class A drug was discovered in a shipping container at Southampton docks on Tuesday.
It was confirmed to be heroin after the liquid turned from purple to red after testing by experts.
A trap was then set to allow the container to continue its journey to an industrial site in Birmingham.
National Crime Agency officers arrested three suspects as they began unloading the cargo.
A fourth man was arrested at a residential address in Alum Rock, Birmingham.
All four suspects were released on bail.
Derek Evans, chief of NCA’s division, said: “The trade in Class A drugs is a scourge on society and this seizure makes an important contribution to protecting the public.”
“Drugs are inextricably linked to organized crime and the use of serious violence, which can often result in the destruction of the lives of innocent victims and their families.”
“The NCA is working at home and abroad to do everything we can to prevent heroin from entering the UK and harming our communities.”
Seagulls have helped police as reports surfaced that the coastal pests swooped down to make their way into drug users’ stashes.
Birds have developed a particular fondness for a group of synthetic cannabinoids known as “spices.”
Surprisingly, little research has been done on the effects of synthetic anesthetics on seagulls.
According to the Daily Star, incidents of the birds descending to steal drug stashes from users have apparently been reported from Hastings, East Sussex, Margate and Kent, as well as cities including London, Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool.
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