A lorry driver who attempted to smuggle £3 million worth of cocaine has been jailed after he was caught at the Channel Tunnel.
Vladimir Mrdak was stopped by officers at the Coquelles terminal in France heading to Folkestone and a search discovered 40kg of drugs hidden in the lorry.
The 37-year-old Serbian trucker, who lived in Bosnia and Herzegovina, protested he did not know how the class A substance had ended up in his trailer.
Cocaine was found by Border Force officers hidden inside plastic wrapped packages placed in boxes on top of legitimate goods in the truck.
Mrdak later pleaded guilty after being charged with attempting to import class A drugs during a hearing in August at Canterbury Crown Court.
He was today jailed for nine years following an investigation by the National Crime Agency (NCA).
NCA branch commander Mark Howes said: “Organised crime groups rely on people like Mrdak to feed supplies of lethal class A drugs to the UK, so this intervention would have dealt them a blow.
“The trade in cocaine is synonymous with exploitation and violence, and this seizure would have dented the profits of those who poison our communities by distributing it.
“Our work with partners like Border Force to pursue the organised criminals behind drugs smuggling will never stop.”
Ian Hanson, director for the Border Force Europe and International teams, said: “Results like this are a testament to the hard work of Border Force officers and the close relationship with have with our NCA partners.
“I know that my officers are absolutely committed to preventing the flow of illegal drugs into the UK and disrupting the organised criminal gangs who rely on it.
“Thanks to their work a significant quantity of cocaine has been prevented from entering the country, and subsequent work with and by the NCA has led to a significant jail term for the man responsible.”