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  1. ITV Report

Two jailed after being caught smuggling cannabis hidden in consignments of cheese

Two men who tried to smuggle £5m worth of cannabis through Dover by hiding it in a consignment of cheese have been jailed.

Henrik Ruben and Dominic Leeman helped to import more than half a tonne of cannabis in two consignments of grated pizza cheese.

The pair were found guilty of conspiring to import drugs at Maidstone Crown Court.

Leeman (L) and Ruben (R) left texts and photos on their phones that were key evidence for investigators. Credit: NCA

The pair thought they could fool us by disguising cannabis in food shipments and giving fabricated stories to border officials. But we are ready and have tools in place to disrupt drug supply and distribution. The cannabis had a street value of more than £5million, which no doubt would have funded further criminality on our streets.

– Martin Grace, National Crime Agency
Credit: NCA

Leeman and Ruben, both from the Netherlands, were part of a criminal group who ran a food business as a front for their drug smuggling operation.

Through Bertus Food, also known as Global Foods, the group imported the cannabis hidden within large cheese consignments.

The gang would then unpack the boxes, remove the cannabis and send the cheese back to the Netherlands to be used again.

Ruben was in charge of making the necessary travel arrangements and was jailed for 6 years.

Leeman was in charge of setting up the 'carousel' of sending produce back and forth.

He was sentenced for five-and-a-half years in prison.