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Cocaine worth £700k found in cola cans at Dover

The drugs were hidden among the drinks cans Credit: Border Force

Border force officials have seized cocaine with a street value of £680,000 after discovering the haul hidden among cans of Pepsi Max cola at the Port of Dover.

Officials found the 17 kilograms of the drug after searching a Bulgarian freight lorry that had arrived on a ferry from the Netherlands on Friday 9 December. Several packages were found hidden under a legitimate shipment of Pepsi Max. The investigation has been handed over to the National Crime Agency.

The driver, a 40-year-old man with dual Macedonian and Bulgarian nationality, was arrested and released on bail pending further enquiries.

“This is a significant seizure which has prevented a large quantity of dangerous substances reaching the UK’s streets.

“As this case shows, our officers are on constant alert to stop drugs, weapons and other banned goods entering the country.

“We work in partnership with the National Crime Agency (NCA) to disrupt traffickers and prevent illegal drugs causing harm to communities.”

– Paul Morgan, Director, Border Force South East & Europe

Anyone with information about activity they suspect may be linked to smuggling can call the Border Force hotline on 0800 59 5000.

Man charged with drug smuggling after cocaine seized

A 22 year-old man from Kent has been charged with drug smuggling after Border Force officers at Dover seized amphetamine and cocaine worth an estimated £400,000.

The drugs were discovered last Wednesday when officers at Dover’s EasternDocks stopped and searched a van.

The drugs were found in the floor of the vehicle. Thomas John Mayes, from Kemsley Street, Bredhurst, Gillingham, appeared at Canterbury Magistrates Court on Friday charged with the importation. He withheld his plea and was remanded in custody. He will appear at Canterbury Crown Court on 10 March.

The amphetamine had an estimated value of £300,000 and the cocaine, once cut and sold on the streets, £100,000.

Following the seizure by Border Force, the investigation and prosecution are being carried out by the National Crime Agency.


Amphetamine worth £360,000 seized in Dover

Border Force officers at Dover have seized approximately 9 kilos of amphetamine, worth around £360,000.

Officers stopped and searched a Polish-registered car and found the drugs hidden within the chassis of the vehicle.

The case has now been passed on to the National Crime Agency for further investigation.

The two Polish occupants of the car have been bailed pending further enquiries.

Paul Morgan, Director of Border Force South East and Europe said, "Border Force officers are on constant alert to keep illegal drugs and other banned substances out of the UK.

Queue times cut but other duties suffer

Border Force has successfully cut queuing times but other duties, like checking freight, have suffered.

Activities such as seizure of cigarettes and counterfeit goods, entry refusals and detecting forgeries, were below target.

Border Force officers put this down to staff shortages and requirements to prioritise full passenger checks while managing the queue times.

New measures were put into place for queue times as in April 2012, just before the London 2012 Olympics, staff were struggling to manage.

Margaret Hodge MP, Chair of the Committee of Public Accounts has said, "The Border Force must be able to check both goods and passengers at the same time. Border security cannot be an either or choice."

More staff are now going to be recruited to meet demands placed on Border Force.

Dover Border Force seizes £7,000 fake coins

The counterfeit coins were similar to these real one pound coins Credit: PA Wire

Border Force officers in Dover are investigating after they seized nearly £8,000 in counterfeit one pound coins.

The coins were discovered when staff at Dover's Eastern docks stopped two passengers travelling on a coach from Amsterdam on July, 30.

After questioning, the officers searched their baggage and found two large bags containing the coins.

Giuseppe Savoia and Norma Pitrolo appeared before Canterbury Magistrates' Court on Thursday, August 1 charged with the importation of counterfeit protected coins.

Two charged over £1m cocaine seizure at Gatwick

Two people have been charged with drug trafficking offences after ten kilos of cocaine - worth up to one million pounds, was found hidden inside cakes at Gatwick Airport.

The drugs were inside baggage seized at the South Terminal on Thursday afternoon, after the arrival of a flight from Jamaica.

The Border Force said two British nationals had been charged with attempting to import a Class A drug.

The two people charged are from the West Midlands - Sherelle Burke aged 22, of Bridge Street, Coseley and Kris Millwood, aged 29, of Beacon View Road, West Bromwich. They will appear at Croydon Magistrates Court later today.

"Seizures like this demonstrate how officers at Gatwick and across the country are at the forefront of the fight to keep illegal drugs and other banned substances out of the UK.

"Drug trafficking is a serious offence and those convicted face long prison sentences."

– Ingrid Smith, of the Border Force at Gatwick


Border Force seizes 2 tonnes of tobacco at Dover

Border Force officers have seized more than two tonnes of hand rolling tobacco being smuggled into the UK through Dover on a lorry. Officers stopped an Italian-registered lorry after it arrived from Calais on a ferry on 19th January.

After questioning the Romanian driver, Border Force officers searched the lorry and found the tobacco hidden under the a cargo of cheese. Officials say the haul could have cost the Treasury about £328,000 in unpaid excise duty.

"These detections show that our Border Force officers are on constant alert, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to keep illegal goods out of the UK. Anyone who smuggles tobacco for commercial gain is effectively stealing from the public purse and from law-abiding taxpayers. We will continue to work with HM Revenue & Customs to bring smugglers to justice."

– Paul Morgan, Director Border Force South East & Europe

£10.5m of cannabis found on lorry

A 32-year-old man from Bulgaria has been arrested and bailed, after Border Force officers seized approximately three and a half tonnes of cannabis at Newhaven.

The drugs have an estimated street value of £10.5million pounds. The haul was discovered on Wednesday 16th January after officers stopped and searched a Spanish registered lorry which had arrived on a ferry from Dieppe. The investigation continues.

Border Force officers work round the clock, using the latest technology, sniffer dogs and their own expertise to stay one step ahead of those involved in the illegal drugs trade. Those who engage in illegal drug smuggling should be in no doubt that they will be targeted and brought to justice."

– Carole Upshall, Director Border Force South

Cocaine and heroin found at Dover docks

Border Force officers are investigating after an estimated 107 kilos of cocaine and five kilos of heroin were seized at Dover’s Eastern Docks. The drugs, which have a street value running into millions of pounds, were discovered when officers stopped a Slovenian-registered lorry.

After questioning the driver officers, aided by a detector dog, searched the lorry and its load of metal and machinery. The drugs were found hidden in one of the trailer’s outside lockers.

Jailed drugs gang to pay £312,000

MV Majestic Credit: Border Force

A gang which tried to smuggle £12m worth of cannabis on a luxury yacht have been ordered to hand back almost £312,000 following a confiscation hearing.

Border Force officers thwarted the smuggling attempt in July 2011 and the men were sentenced to a total of 33 years in prison at Lewes Crown Court.

In the early hours of Sunday 24 July the MV Majestic_ _entered UK waters and was intercepted near the Isle of Wight by HMC Valiant and its sister cutter HMC Searcher. After officers interviewed the crew, the yacht with four tons of cannabis was escorted into Newhaven harbour.

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