Two men who posed as cleaners for a ferry company in an attempt to smuggle cocaine into the UK have been jailed after a National Crime Agency investigation.
Kevin Carter, 56, from Manston in Kent, was stopped in his car as he left the docks at Dover with passenger Louis Manning-Chamberlain, 30, from Westgate on Sea, in August 2018.
Carter was wearing a hi-vis jacket and presented his security pass, stating he had been working on board a ferry as part of his legitimate industrial cleaning business.
He said he had been working alongside employee Chamberlain to clean tanks on board the boats.
The NCA began an investigation when Border Force officers searched the vehicle and uncovered a hide in the footwell behind the seats, buried under a mound of rubbish.
Hidden inside was 13 kilos of cocaine which would have been worth more than £1 million at street level.
NCA investigators found that Carter’s security pass had been revoked earlier in the year but he had continued to use it in an attempt to evade border control.
Officers were also able to prove that Carter had never worked on the ferries, whilst Manning-Chamberlain had worked just a single shift.
Both men were charged with attempting to smuggle a class A drug. Carter admitted the offence in December 2022 and was sentenced to nine years in prison.
Manning-Chamberlain was found guilty following a trial in February and was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison at Canterbury Crown Court yesterday (3 May).
Pictured: Kevin Carter and Louis Manning-Chamberlain
NCA Senior Investigating Officer Darren Herbert said: “Carter and Manning-Chamberlain took advantage of their security clearances to try to bypass border checks with their illegal cargo.
“But our investigation proved their cover story was bogus, and as a result they have been handed these sentences.
“The NCA is committed to protecting the public from the serious and organised crime that fuels the drugs trade and will continue our work to tackle it.”
04 May 2023