A TON of cannabis with an estimated street value of £2.5m was found in a lorry being driven by a Winsford man.
It is not yet known for sure if the drugs were headed for Winsford, but customs officers believe the sheer size of the haul will affect availability of the drug throughout the area.
The discovery was made by customs officers on duty at Poole Ferryport, in Dorset, when they stopped a lorry carrying ceramic tiles as it arrived from Cherbourg.
During a search of the vehicle, officers from a mobile team found about 1,000 kilos of cannabis resin hidden in pallets of tiles.
The driver of the lorry, a 56-year-old man from Winsford, was questioned by customs officers and later released on bail pending further inquiries.
Customs officers are due to speak to him again in January, when it will be decided if he is to be charged. Until then, they have refused to name him.
Customs spokesman Bob Gaiger said: 'He has been bailed until January while further inquiries are carried out. Then a decision will be made as to whether he is charged.
'In cases like this, it can be that the driver was involved and knew exactly what he was doing, but sometimes he is just a driver, he may not have been aware of what he was carrying. Before we would make a decision to charge him, we would need sufficient evidence that he was involved.
'But it was a very large haul, with a street value of £2.5m. It is not clear if the drugs were due to be taken to Winsford, as the destination of the drugs will come out during the investigation, but it was likely to be delivered to the North West.
'When you are talking about seizing a ton of cannabis, that is going to have a significant affect on the availability of the drug. It is going to make it that bit harder to buy drugs.'
Mr Gaiger added: 'This was yet another excellent detection by one of the new customs mobile teams. It clearly demonstrates the importance of our new methods of working. Ports should not be seen as a soft touch by smug-glers.
'In line with the Government's drugs strategy, customs' main priority relating to drugs is to reduce the availability of Class A drugs, but we continue to uphold the law relating to other illegal drugs, including cannabis.' Members of the public with information about smuggling should call the customs confidential hotline on 0800 59 5000 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.