Published: 00:00, 16 March 2015
| Updated: 15:01, 16 March 2015
A lorry driver has been jailed for 12 years after attempting to smuggle 30 kilos of cocaine worth almost £4 million into the UK via Dover.
An Italian-registered lorry was stopped by Border Force officers at the freight controls in the Eastern Docks on January 16.
The driver, Artur Doda, 46, was questioned and his vehicle containing flowers from the Netherlands was searched.
In a purpose built concealment under the cab floor, officers found 29 packages wrapped in brown tape.
They all contained white powder which tested positive to a field test for cocaine.
Forensic tests later showed the cocaine to have an exceptionally high purity which gave the drugs an estimated street value of £3.8m.
Doda, an Italian national born in Albania, was arrested and the case was passed onto the National Crime Agency.
He was then charged with the attempted drugs importation.
Doda pleaded guilty at a hearing at Canterbury Crown Court on February 2 and was sentenced there on Friday.
Paul Morgan, director of Border Force south east and Europe said: “This was an excellent seizure and I would like to pay tribute to the Border Force officers who play a crucial role in protecting the UK from illegal drugs every day.
“We work closely with law enforcement colleagues, including the NCA, to prevent drug trafficking and do all we can to put those responsible behind bars.”
Anyone with information about drug smuggling is asked to call the hotline on 0800 59 5000.
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