Two men arrested after ‘trying to smuggle £17.5m worth of cocaine and heroin into UK’

·2-min read
Border Force officers found the drugs hidden in the van’s wall panels   (Home Office)
Border Force officers found the drugs hidden in the van’s wall panels (Home Office)

Two men have been arrested on suspicion of attempting to smuggle 200kg of cocaine and heroin while crossing the Channel Tunnel.

It is one of the largest ever drug seizures at the tunnel with an estimated street value of £17.5 million.

A 68-year-old man from Belgium and a 60-year-old Dutch national were arrested on June 10 at the border in Coquelles as they tried to enter the UK.

Border Force officers intercepted the vehicle and found the drugs hidden within the van’s wall panels.

The men were charged with the importation of Class A drugs and the case is being investigated by the NCA.

Border Force’s work with the NCA to stop drugs entering the UK is a core part of the Government’s 10-year drug strategy to cut crime and save lives.

Kit Malthouse, the Minister for Crime, Policing & Probation, said: “This case is just one example of our Border Force and law enforcement colleagues working around the clock to smash the business model of drug gangs by tackling their supply chains.

“The human cost of narcotics is tragic which is why our 10-year drugs strategy sets out the action we are taking to make our streets safer by tackling the supply of drugs and also treating those in the helotry of addiction.”

Director of Border Force Europe Ian Hanson said: “This was outstanding work by Border Force to stop £17.5 million worth of drugs reaching Britain’s streets and causing further harm to our communities.

“This seizure and others like it send a clear message to anyone considering attempting to smuggle illegal drugs into the country that we remain committed and prepared to tackle drug supply chains.

“We are working tirelessly to prevent organised criminal gangs smuggle drugs through the border. Working closely with NCA and police we are detecting and breaking these drug supply chains.”

Branch Commander Mark Howes from the NCA said: “These drugs destined for the streets of the UK would have fuelled addiction, violence and exploitation. The organised crime group responsible has been deprived of a substantial profit as a result of this seizure.

“The NCA works closely with Border Force to disrupt the flow of illicit drugs into the UK, and we are committed to protecting our communities.”

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