A SEARCH of a boat in Southampton recovered enough cannabis to make a joint for every person in the country, the Serious Organised Crime Agency said today.

Officers raided the ocean-going tug Abbira in the River Itchen last week and discovered the cannabis resin which has a street value of £41m.

A Soca spokesman said: ''The search of the vessel Abbira has so far recovered 419 bales of what is believed to be cannabis resin weighing a total of more than 14.5 tonnes.

''With a wholesale price of £875 per kg, this cannabis was worth around £12.5m to the importer, and offered a potential profit of around £1m through onward wholesale distribution.

''Sold in eighth-of-an-ounce street deals (£10 per eighth) this would be worth around £41m pounds.

''This quantity of cannabis would make approximately 72.5 million joints (200mg of cannabis resin per joint) - more than one joint for every man woman and child in the UK.'' The search, which uncovered the bales of resin which were enough to fill a single garage, was carried out by a specialist UK Border's Agency team as part of an ongoing Soca operation.

Three Israeli men, two Ukrainian men and four Serbian men were arrested and charged in connection with the raid and another four British men were arrested in Leicestershire, three of whom were charged and one released on bail.