190 kilos of cocaine seized in consignments of toys and paper

22 April 2020

Three people have been arrested following two seizures of cocaine totalling 190 kilos at the port of Dover.
 
The seizures, which are not thought to be connected, were discovered in HGVs earlier this week.
 
Within a void in the floor of one HGV, which had arrived from Holland carrying a consignment of paper and card, Border Force officers found an estimated 140 kilos of cocaine with a potential street value of around £14 million.
 
During a search of a second HGV carrying a consignment of toy building blocks, officers discovered two holdalls in side lockers containing approximately 50 kilos of cocaine. 
 
Following the seizures on Monday, both cases were passed to the National Crime Agency for investigation.
 
Dutch national Gerrit Van Eckeveld, age 62, from Nieuwegein in the Netherlands, who was arrested in relation to the 140 kilos, was later charged with importing cocaine.
 
He appeared before Medway Magistrates today, where he was remanded in custody and is due to appear at Canterbury Crown Court on 20 May.
 
Two Czech nationals were arrested on suspicion of importing the 50 kilos.  They were later released under investigation while NCA enquiries continue.
 
NCA Dover Branch Commander Martin Grace said:
 
“These seizures demonstrate that the organised criminal networks involved in international drug trafficking continue to pose a threat to the UK, even with the restrictions brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.
 
“These two seizures have deprived those networks of a substantial amount of drugs and, crucially, a substantial amount of profit that would have been reinvested in more criminality.
 
“Working with partners like Border Force we are determined to do all we can to disrupt and dismantle crime groups involved in drug distribution.”

Dave Smith, Border Force Regional Director, said:
 
“Illegal drugs have a significant impact on our society. They are the root cause behind countless crimes and used as a commodity by organised gangs linked to violence and exploitation.
 
“We are determined to do all we can to stop drug traffickers and bring them to justice.”