Published: 16:45, 14 September 2021
| Updated: 17:13, 14 September 2021
A lorry driver has been jailed after trying to smuggle cocaine worth £4 million by hiding it in his bed.
He was sentenced to 14-and-a-half years.
Karol Niewiadomski, 30, was arrested during a National Crime Agency investigation after his lorry was searched on arrival to Dover on January 7 this year.
The lorry, meant to contain vintage clothing destined for a business park in Nottingham, was searched by Border Force officers.
They found 50 kg of cocaine in cardboard boxes within the sleeping area of Niewiadomski’s cab.
A quantity of amphetamine was also found within a first aid box.
National Crime Agency officers estimated the cocaine would have been worth up to £4 million at street level due to its high purity.
Niewiadomski claimed he did not know the drugs were in the vehicle and had left the lorry unlocked while travelling by ferry from the Netherlands.
Niewiadomski, of Stary Brus, Helenin, Poland, denied a charge of importation of cocaine and importation of amphetamine but was convicted at Canterbury Crown Court last Friday.
NCA Branch Commander Mark Howes said after the sentencing: “If Niewiadomski had been successful, bringing £4m worth of cocaine onto the streets of the UK would have caused misery in our communities.
“Drug smugglers like Niewiadomski aid organised crime groups, with the profits from these drugs going on to fuel further criminality.
“We will continue to work closely with our partners to disrupt the supply of drugs and bring those responsible to justice.”
David Smith, director of Border Force South East, said: “This seizure is an excellent example of the crucial work Border Force does every day to prevent illegal drugs entering the UK.
“I am delighted with the efforts of our officers at Dover as preventing the supply of drugs is a vital step in disrupting organised criminal gangs.”