On the morning of Tuesday, 21 November, Border Force officers at the inward freight controls at Dover’s Eastern Docks stopped and searched a Lithuanian-registered lorry finding packages concealed within the floor of the vehicle.
The contents of the packages tested positive to a field test for cocaine. The drugs weighed approximately 20 kilos and have a potential estimated street level value of £1.2 million.
Paul Morgan, Director of Border Force South East and Europe said:
This was an excellent detection. Results like this demonstrate the vital work Border Force officers are doing on the front line to keep dangerous Class A drugs off the streets of the UK, where they cause significant harm to individuals and communities.
Every year Border Force officers operating at the UK border seize Class A drugs worth hundreds of millions of pounds. Working with law enforcement partners like the NCA we are determined to prevent drug trafficking and to bring those responsible to justice.
A Lithuanian national, Mindaugus Antana Antanavicius, 38, has been arrested and the investigation passed to the National Crime Agency (NCA). He was later charged with the attempted drugs importation.
At Folkestone Magistrates Court on Wednesday, 22 November, Antanavicius, of no fixed UK address, withheld his plea and was remanded in custody until his next appearance on 20 December at Canterbury Crown Court.
Border Force officers use hi-tech search equipment to combat immigration crime and detect banned and restricted goods that smugglers attempt to bring into the country.
They use an array of search techniques including sniffer dogs, carbon dioxide detectors, heartbeat monitors and scanners - as well as visual searches - to find well-hidden stowaways, illegal drugs, firearms and tobacco which would otherwise end up causing harm to local people, businesses and communities.
Anyone with information about activity they suspect may be linked to smuggling should call the hotline on 0800 59 5000.