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Drugs seized 'could have flooded market'

If they had succeeded they would have flooded the UK with £90 million worth of cocaine. Today, two men were sentenced to more than 40 years in jail - for trying to smuggle the drugs into the country on a sailing boat.

The pair were caught red handed - just off the coast of the Isle of Wight - with the class A substance stuffed into packets and cylinders - and hidden behind false walls.

But they were stopped in time by the UK Border Agency - whose job it is to patrol our coastline and to prevent drugs getting onto our streets. Charlotte Wilkins reports and speaks to Tim Fleming from the UK Border Agency.


First pictures - Cocaine smugglers jailed

Tomasz Konrad Dylik Credit: Home Office

Two Polish men caught smuggling almost half a tonne of cocaine on a yacht off the Isle of Wight have been jailed for a total of 42 years.

Tomasz Konrad Dylik and Piotr Ryszard Pachnia were arrested in June last year after their vessel, Baila, was intercepted by Border Force officers.

Dylik pleaded guilty to drugs smuggling charges at Winchester Crown Court in September last year.

Pachnia was convicted by a jury at the same court on Wednesday last week, following a three-day trial.

Dylik, 48, of Lask Warszawska, was sentenced to 18 and a half years while Pachnia, 33, of Rzeczypospolitej, Gdansk, was sentenced to 24 years at the same court today.

Piotr Ryszard Pachnia Credit: Home Office

£90 million cocaine haul: first pictures

The cocaine seizure is thought to be one of the biggest in the UK Credit: Home Office

Two men who were caught with ninety million pounds worth of drugs on a yacht off the Isle of Wight have been sentenced to more than forty years in jail.

The cocaine was found by Border Agency officials during a search of the vessel in Portsmorth.

It's one of the largest seizures to be made in the UK.

The drugs were hidden behind false walls on the yacht "Baila" Credit: Home Office

More than 470 packages and cyclinders of cocaine were found hidden behind false walls, in compartments and a holdall when officers carried out a search of the yacht "Baila" in June last year at the naval dockyard.

In an earlier hearing at Winchester Crown Court earlier, Piotr Pachnia, who's 33, was handed a 24 year sentence - he was convicted of being in possession of 454 kilograms of the class A drug.

The yacht "Baila" was tracked from Plymouth Credit: Home Office

The captain, Thomas Dylik, who admitted the same charge, has been sent to prison for 18 and a half years.

The two had been living on the yacht which was being tracked for about 24 hours from waters off Plymouth until it was 11 miles south of the Isle of Wight.

Officials, suspicious illegal drugs could be on board, escorted it to Portsmouth .

The judge at today's sentencing commended the officers involved and said they'd prevented an "enormous amount of cocaine from ending up on the streets of this country".


Woman swallowed £37,000 of cocaine

A woman who tried to smuggle over £37,000 of cocaine through Gatwick has been jailed for six and a half years.

Tamara Mckfarlin, from Birmingham, arrived on a flight from Jamaica on April 1.

She was stopped and searched by officers and a swab of her baggage and shoes gave a high reading for cocaine.

Arrested on suspicion of importing a controlled substance she refused an x-ray stating that she may be pregnant. A hospital later confirmed she was not.

Five days later she produced 20 packages of cocaine. Over the next three days a further 58 packages were passed.

In total, 373 grams of cocaine hydrochloride were produced with an estimated street value of £37,722.

Mckfarlin pleaded guilty to being concerned in the fraudulent evasion of a prohibition on the importation of cocaine and was sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court.

Cocaine discovered amongst the bananas at Dover

The drugs were seized at Dover Port Credit: ITV Meridian

Border Force officers are investigating after six-and half kilos of cocaine was seized from a cargo ship at Dover’s Eastern Docks.

The drugs were discovered on Saturday 21 July when officers from Border Force’s deep rummage team carried out a search on the MV Emerald.

They discovered the cocaine in gratings in the hold of the ship which had arrived from South America carrying bananas.

It is estimated the drugs could have had a potential value of approximately £650,000 when cut.

Investigations are ongoing but no arrests have been made at his stage.

£300m drugs haul: Cocaine found in Southampton Docks

Working with SOCA and the Dutch National Crime Squad the gang members were tracked down and arrested from addresses across the Netherlands in August 2011. The three men, all Dutch nationals, were convicted and sentenced following a trial in Rotterdam.

The £1 million Dutch owned luxury yacht the Louise was targeted by Border Force as it was transported to Southampton aboard a cargo ship from the British Virgin Islands.

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