20 April 2018
A jury has taken just SEVEN minutes to find a drug smuggler guilty of attempting to import heroin worth more than £3 million into the UK, following an investigation by the National Crime Agency.
Belgian resident Ramparsad Kallee, 39, was stopped by Border Force at the Channel Tunnel terminal in Coquelles, France, on 27 October 2017. He claimed to be travelling to Feltham in London to visit relatives.
But a search of the Mercedes he was travelling in revealed a hidden compartment in the boot area (pictured below). Officers found 60 tape-wrapped packages containing heroin.
The drugs, if cut and sold in the UK, would have had a potential street value of around £3.2million.
Kallee denied any knowledge of the drugs, but using phone and ANPR evidence NCA investigators were able to show he had made previous trips to the UK using the same vehicle. In court he claimed to have been importing bibles, on the previous occasions, not drugs.
On Thursday 19 April, following a four-day trial at Canterbury Crown Court, he was found guilty. The judge sentenced him to 17 years in prison.
NCA Branch Commander Matt Rivers said:
“The evidence we were able to put before the court was so overwhelming it took the jury just minutes to find Kallee guilty.
“Organised crime groups rely on couriers like Kallee to bring their drugs into the UK.
“His role was a vital one, and had these drugs got through they would have got into the hands of gangs involved in further violence and exploitation.”
Paul Morgan, Director of Border Force South East and Europe, said:
“This was a vehicle which had been specially adapted for the sole purpose of smuggling and represents an excellent detection by Border Force officers.
“In making the seizure Border Force have kept a substantial quantity of dangerous drugs off the streets of the UK where they would have caused significant harm to individuals and communities.
“Working with law enforcement partners like the NCA we are determined to prevent drug trafficking and to bring those responsible to justice.”