Part of the1.4 tonnes of cocaine seized by police with a value of 270 million euros at Le Havre harbour is displayed at police headquarters in Nanterre. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

Paris - French police said Friday they had seized a record 1.4 tonnes of cocaine and four people had been arrested in a “severe blow” to an international drug trafficking chain.

French police sources said the drugs were seized on Wednesday at the northern port of Le Havre and were hidden in tyres on a cargo ship from Valparaiso in Chile.

Two Spaniards were arrested in France after the seizure, which came after a “long and thorough” investigation, police said.

Two Bulgarians, believed to be organisers of the trafficking, were also arrested by local police in the eastern Varna province. More arrests were also expected in Spain.

Police said the seized cocaine had a street value of about 270 million euros ($370 million).

Interior Minister Manuel Valls was to make a statement on the case later Friday.

The previous record cocaine haul in France was the seizure in September of 1.3 tonnes of the drug, hidden in 30 suitcases, from an Air France flight from Venezuela.

More than 20 people, including an Air France employee in Caracas, were jailed in that case.