One of Britain’s biggest ever drug hauls of cocaine and heroin has been found stuffed inside a Transit van’s panels.
More than 200 kg of the Class A drugs were discovered by British Force officers working at the Channel Tunnel.
The drugs – with an estimated street value of £18 million – were seized at the UK border control in Coquelles, France.
Two men – a Belgian aged 68 and a Dutch man aged 60 – were arrested.
The National Crime Agency (NCA) is investigating the case.
Combating Drugs Minister Kit Malthouse, 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 treating those in the helotry [slavery] of addiction.”
Ian Hanson, director of Border Force Europe, 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 trying 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 smuggling 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 because 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.”