1. ITV Report

Men jailed over yacht cocaine haul - full story

Drugs smuggled by two men Photo: UK Border Agency

Two men have been jailed for more than 42 years after cocaine worth £90 million was found on their yacht off the UK coast, according to the Border Force (BF).

Tomasz Konrad Dylik and Piotr Ryszard Pachnia, both from Poland, were arrested in June last year after their boat , Baila, was intercepted off the Isle of Wight by Border Force officers on HM Cutter Valiant.

Dylik, 48, of Lask Warszawska, who pleaded guilty to drugs smuggling charges, was sentenced at Winchester Crown Court to 18 and a half years, while Pachnia, 33, of Rzeczypospolitej, Gdansk, was found guilty by a jury and sentenced to 24 years.

The court heard that officers boarded the vessel on June 9 and questioned both men, who initially said they had sailed around the Mediterranean.

The boat used by two men Credit: UK Border Agency

Suspicions were raised when swab samples gave high readings for heroin, and food items from South America and the Caribbean were also found.

When re-questioned Dylik said their last port of call was the Dominican Republic.

The BF officers ordered the pair to sail into Portsmouth Naval Base where the yacht was searched and cocaine weighing 452kg was found, with laboratory tests showing the drug was 89.9% pure.

The drug had been taped into packages divided between three locked holdalls, bin liners, hessian sacks and loose piles.

A BF spokesman said: "The average purity of cocaine seized at the UK border is 63%. If the drugs had reached the streets they would have been worth around £90.4 million."

Tomasz Konrad Dylik Credit: UK Border Agency

During interview Dylik confirmed the yacht belonged to him and that the trip started from Poland in September 2011.

The spokesman said: "Dylik said he had met Pachnia via an internet social network 10 months previously when looking for a sailing partner.

"Pachnia's account of the route and internet advert was very similar to Dylik's but neither could explain why the drugs were on the boat or how they got there."

Tim Fleming, from Border Force, said: "This was a significant seizure and the sentences given to Pachnia and Dylik should serve as a stark warning to anyone who attempts to smuggle class A drugs at the border or within British territorial waters. We will catch you and you will face a long time in jail.

"Our officers are on constant alert to keep drugs and other prohibited items out of the country and we are determined to do all we can to stamp out this evil trade."

Piotr Ryszard Pachnia Credit: UK Border Agency