An estimated 30 kilos of heroin has been seized at the Channel Tunnel.
The drugs, which have an estimated street value of up to £1.5 million, were discovered on Sunday when officers stopped a Dutch-registered car at the Channel Tunnel entrance in Coquelles, France.
Debora DAATZELAAR and Paul VAN RIJN, both aged 49 and from the Netherlands, appeared at Canterbury Magistrates Court yesterday, Tuesday 27 August, charged with the attempted importation.
They were remanded in custody and will next appear at Canterbury Crown Court on 16 September.
“Border Force is at the forefront of the fight to stop drugs entering the UK. We are determined to protect society from this activity which can have such a destructive impact on communities as well as individuals.
“Anyone with information about activity they suspect may be linked to smuggling should call the Hotline 0800 59 5000.”
– Paul Morgan, Director of Border Force South East and Europe
There are delays of up to 50 minutes on Eurostar between St Pancras International and Ashford International, and between St Pancras and Ebbsfleet International because of an earlier broken down train in the Channel Tunnel.
The broken down train has now been moved and both lines are now available through the tunnel again. However knock-on delays are still ongoing.
Paul Morgan, Director Border Force South East & Europe, said: “Cocaine is a vile and destructive drug, which ruin the lives of users and the wider community. Border Force officers are on constant alert to keep illegal drugs and other banned substances out of the UK.”
Dozens of truckers were taken to safety after fire broke out on a lorry on a shuttle in the Channel Tunnel between Folkestone and Calais.
The incident, which closed the tunnel to all trains from around 1.30pm, happened as the train was about to emerge at the French end of the 30-mile long tunnel.
The fire triggered a smoke alarm, the train was driven out of the tunnel to emergency sidings and 36 lorry drivers on board were evacuated to safety.
French fire crews put the fire out and no-one was hurt. Smoke in a section of tunnel was being dealt with by the tunnel's ventilation system.
In the meantime, neither Eurotunnel nor high-speed train company Eurostar, which operates from London to Paris and Brussels, have been able to operate any trains through the tunnel.
No through freight train services were able to go through either, with Eurotunnel saying it hoped that the tunnel would be open again by late afternoon.
A Eurotunnel spokesman said: "Our procedures worked perfectly. The fire was about 400 metres behind where the lorry drivers were on the train and all of them are all right.
"There is some smoke in the tunnel and we are using the tunnel's ventilation system to get rid of that before starting services again."
There have been few serious fire incidents since the 30-mile tunnel opened in 1994.
The worst was in November 1996 when a lorry shuttle train fire damaged a large section of tunnel, with a number of truckers needing treatment for smoke inhalation. It was several months before the tunnel was able to fully re-open.
There were also less serious fire incidents in August 2006 and September 2008.
All services through the Channel Tunnel between Folkestone and Calais have been halted after an incident involving a Eurotunnel shuttle train.
There were unconfirmed reports that the shuttle train had caught fire, with Eurotunnel merely saying on its website that a "technical fault" meant a temporary suspension of its Folkestone-Calais shuttles.
Eurostar train services between London and Paris and Brussels were also unable to pass through the tunnel, with no through-freight trains running either.
None of our trains are stuck in the tunnel but we are unable to go through the tunnel at the moment.
"There has been a problem with one of the Eurotunnel shuttle services."