A van driver who tried to smuggle cocaine worth £2.4 million inside his fuel tank has been jailed this week.
Ernestas Rekstys, 34, from Lithuania, was stopped at the port in Dover Eastern Docks on October 16.
The packages of drugs were found after Border Force officers noticed an anomaly when they scanned Rekstys’ vehicle.
When the fuel tank was removed, packages containing a white powder were seen floating inside. A total of 30kg was removed and found to contain cocaine.
National Crime Agency forensic experts estimated the cocaine would have been worth up to £2.4 million at street level.
In interviews with the NCA Rekstys at first claimed to have borrowed the van and denied knowledge of the drugs.
He later changed his story and pleaded guilty to one count of being involved in the importation of a controlled drug at Canterbury Crown Court on Monday, November 16.
He was jailed for nine years and nine months at the same court on Monday.
NCA Senior Investigating Officer Daren Nicholls said after the case: “This was a significant amount of cocaine and the profits from this importation would only have caused further criminality when distributed.
“The NCA will continue to work with our partners including Border Force to stop the smugglers who work for organised crime groups intent on bringing drugs into the UK.”