A lorry driver stopped at the Port of Hull with cocaine worth £1.7 million has been jailed for 8 years and 8 months today following a National Crime Agency investigation.
Mihai Ciceu, aged 34, was sentenced at Hull Crown Court, having pleaded guilty to importing Class A drugs at an earlier hearing.
The investigation started on 22 January when Ciceu, a lorry driver of ten years, tried to enter the UK at the Port of Hull on board a ferry from Zeebrugge, Belgium. He was stopped by Border Force officers who found three packages, concealed within the floor of the lorry trailer, which contained approximately 21 kilos of cocaine.
When questioned by NCA officers, Ciceu denied all knowledge of the packages. He claimed he arrived at his delivery destination two days ahead of schedule, and during that time had left the vehicle unattended for long periods of time.
However, Ciceu was unable to offer explanation about anyone who would have the knowledge, time and opportunity to conceal the drugs and then retrieve them once he was in the UK.
Ciceu was also found to be in possession of multiple mobile phones, two of which he tried to destroy whilst his vehicle was being searched.
Mark Spoors, Branch Commander at the NCA, said:
Cocaine in these quantities has a lot to answer for - fuelling gang violence, exploitation and violence on the streets.
Murdo MacMillan, Deputy Director Border Force, said:
This was an excellent detection that took a substantial quantity of cocaine out of circulation.