Cocaine smuggler who tried to bring in drugs worth £1.5 million is jailed

Peter Willemsen tried to smuggle cocaine worth £1.5million through Harwich Credit: National Crime Agency

A Dutch lorry driver who smuggled cocaine worth £1.5million into Harwich has been jailed for 10 years following an investigation by the National Crime Agency.

On 22 January 2018 Border Force officers stopped the lorry of Peter Willemsen, 60, at Harwich International Port.

Willemsen said he was travelling to Lutterworth, Leicestershire, to deliver computer parts.

When he was stopped, Willemsen was seen to turn round and rummage behind him. A search of the cab revealed a number of taped packages in a large red bag, covered by a blanket, on the driver’s bunk behind the seat.

Testing of the packages showed they contained 15kg of cocaine, worth estimated £1.5million.

Willemsen was found guilty of drug importation and sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court on Friday (6 July 2018).

Sentencing him, HHJ Turner said cocaine was an evil commodity and Willemsen deserved a “substantial sentence”.

We are determined to disrupt the criminal networks responsible for bringing class A drugs into this country. This is a good result as it has not only stopped a supply route, but has kept a significant quantity of drugs off the streets.”

Matt Rivers, NCA Branch Commander