A 42-year-old Dutch man has been charged with drug smuggling after Border Force officers at the Channel Tunnel entrance in Coquelles, France seized drugs with an estimated street value in excess of £5 million.
Exact quantities are still being assessed but the haul included heroin, amphetamine and cannabis.
The drugs were discovered on Saturday when officers stopped and searched a Dutch-registered lorry. The drugs were found in brown cardboard boxes within the vehicle’s load of empty plastic containers.
Hendrik DEKKER, from Nijkerk, Netherlands, appeared at Folkestone Magistrates Court yesterday, charged with the importation.
He pleaded not guilty and was remanded in custody.
French officials say nineteen workers have suffered carbon monoxide poisoning while working overnight in the Channel Tunnel, with one of them in a serious condition.
The incident happened as some 60 workers were changing rail tracks on the line between Calais, France, and Folkestone.
A welder was taken ill in the early hours of Sunday and carbon monoxide poisoning was later diagnosed.
Tunnel traffic was unaffected.
Eighteen other workers have also been taken ill.
An investigation has been launched into the cause of the incident.
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.
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.”
Officials say that they have charged a 29-year-old man following the discovery of the drugs.
Artur Topalli, appeared at Canterbury Magistrates Court today charged with the attempted importation. He was remanded in custody.
He will next appear at Folkestone Magistrates Court on 7 March.
Border Force officers have seized drugs worth £320,000 at the Channel Tunnel entrance in France.
Eight kilos of cocaine were found on Tuesday when officers stopped a British-registered car
Officers searched the vehicle and found the drugs concealed within the car’s bodywork.
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.
The Channel Tunnel has now re-opened after a fire on a Shuttle train at the exit to the French side. Services are slowly getting back to normal. Eurostar says it thanks passengers for the patience.
It's thought the Channel Tunnel could reopen this afternoon after an incident involving a Eurotunnel shuttle train.
A lorry shuttle train is believed to have caught fire, with smoke seen coming from the vehicle after it emerged from the French side of the Channel.
The train was thought to have been met by fire crews in Calais and the blaze quickly extinguished.
It is believed that truckers, who were in a separate carriage, were evacuated to emergency sidings. No injuries have been reported.