Cocaine worth £25 million hidden as “medical supplies” to tackle Covid-19

Cocaine worth more than £25 million has been found in a van claiming to be taking medical supplies to a hospital.

The vehicle was stopped at border controls in Coquelles, Northern France as it made its way to Britain.

UK Border Force officers found an estimated 285 kg of cocaine hidden among dry ice.

Chris Philp MP

Chris Philp, minister for immigration compliance, said:

“Criminals will look to exploit any situation for their advantage, including the current pandemic.

“They may hope that shipments listed as medical supplies might be subject to less scrutiny, but Border Force are alert to the risks.

“This seizure has taken millions of pounds worth of cocaine out of the hands of organised criminals and off our streets.

“Drugs are currency for organised gangs and are intrinsically linked to crime and violence.

“Border Force will continue to work with the National Crime Agency to bring those involved in drug smuggling to justice.”

Belgian national Padmore Asamoah appeared at Medway Magistrates Court.

He was remanded in custody to appear at Maidstone Crown Court on June 3rd.

The fake medical supply seizure comes only days after another 260 kg of cocaine was stopped at the same border crossing.

The drugs with a potential street value of around £20 million, was uncovered when officers stopped a lorry containing car parts.

The Class A drug was found hidden in plywood boxes.



About the Author

Philip Braund spent 16 years at the Daily Mirror as a reporter and news editor before moving to ITV. He was the series producer of the ground-breaking investigation programme The Cook Report, Managing Editor at ITV's Millbank Studios, and Head of News at ITV Central. He has won national and regional Royal Television Society awards for documentaries.

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