Driver who removed fuel tank to hide £2.5 million of cocaine jailed

32 packages of cocaine with an estimated street value of £2.5 million were discovered Credit: NCA

A driver who removed his van’s fuel tank to pack it with 32 kilos of cocaine has been jailed for nine years and nine months.

Ion Cazac, 40, from Romania, was stopped at Dover Eastern Docks on 22 October. Border Force officials stopped Cazac as it appeared the fuel tank on his vehicle had recently been removed.

When the tank was opened, 32 packages of cocaine with an estimated street value of £2.5 million were found inside.

Ion Cazac from Romania, was investigated by the National Crime Agency Credit: NCA

National Crime Agency experts found the drugs had a purity ranging from 61 per cent to 80 per cent.

When Cazac was interviewed by NCA officers, he denied all knowledge of the drugs, stating he had picked up a load before receiving a call from another driver asking him to stop at a hotel. He alleged that when he went to refuel after the stop, the gauge only registered half a tank and he didn’t know why.

The fuel tank was removed so the drugs could be hidden Credit: NCA

NCA investigators found that the vehicle fuel tank had been changed for a larger tank and was not the size in place on the original factory build or customer order.

Cazac then changed his story and pleaded guilty to being involved in the importation of a controlled drug at Canterbury Crown Court on 22 November.

He was sentenced to 9 years and 9 months in prison.