A LORRY carrying smuggled alcohol valued at around £100,000 was seized during a police operation in Thurrock on Wednesday.
The truck was stopped as part of Operation Mermaid, a national campaign to rid the roads of unsafe or dangerously-driven commercial vehicles.
The lorry, loaded with smuggled alcohol, was seized by Customs officials and investigations showed that the load amounted to a total excise duty evasion of about £25,000. Five other vehicles were seized for having no insurance.
A total of 74 lorries and vans were intercepted on the M25 and A13 and taken to a check site at Moto services where police officers and officials from Thurrock Council and vehicle examiners from the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency, VOSA, carried out enquiries into the drivers, vehicles and loads.
A total of 255 driver hours offences were detected and two vehicles were taken off the road until mechanical defects were repaired.
As part of a continuing campaign against metal thefts six vehicles carrying scrap metal were stopped and checked by Thurrock Council officers, but all were found to have valid paperwork for their loads.
Twelve other offences were dealt with including, no MoTs, drivers using mobile phones, no insurance and illegally tinted windows.
Fines totalling £2,640 were issued.