National Crime Agency
57 years for Dutch drug traffickers who smuggled Class A drugs into UK
A criminal group who masterminded a plot that brought millions of pounds worth of heroin and cocaine into the UK over five years have been jailed in The Netherlands.
The National Crime Agency launched an investigation in 2016 when drugs valued at over £12.5 million were found at Purfleet Docks, in a delivery of car batteries that were heading to an industrial site in Essex.
The drugs, which totalled 55 kilos of heroin and 60 kilos of cocaine, were found hidden in jump starters and followed a pattern seen in other drug seizures that had come into the UK from The Netherlands.
NCA officers obtained evidence which led to the arrest of seven men in The Netherlands, and the seizure of firearms, grenades and cash.
On 29 March in Utrecht, five of the men were found guilty and sentenced to a total of 57 years in prison.
The ringleader of the group, Marcel Doest, a 38 year-old from Nieuwegein, was sentenced to sixteen years in prison.
His second in command, a 33 year-old, also from Nieuwegein, was sentenced to fourteen years.
Three other men who were involved in the conspiracy were also convicted and received sentences of seven and eight years.
The leaders of the group were found guilty not only of organising large drug transports from The Netherlands to the UK between 2013 and 2018, but also money laundering and dealing in stolen cars.
Regional Head of Investigations at the National Crime Agency, Jacque Beer, said: “This outcome concludes an investigation that began in the UK and through close collaboration with our partners across Europe, ends in The Netherlands.
“Following a huge drugs seizure in the UK in 2016 and further analysis by NCA officers, information that was crucial to the arrest of the main subject and the apprehension of the others was uncovered.
“These men were clearly serious and organised criminals, who sought to profit from trafficking drugs and other criminality.
“Through joint working with our colleagues both in the UK and abroad, we’ve stopped a huge amount of Class A drugs from reaching the streets and this result will have fractured a key source of drugs from entering the market.”
Latest News from
National Crime Agency
Three arrested over alleged supply of boats to cross-Channel people smugglers12/04/2021 11:15:00
Three people have been arrested following an investigation into the alleged supply of small boats to cross-Channel people smugglers.
Court orders extradition of people smuggling suspect wanted in connection with Essex lorry deaths09/04/2021 16:15:00
A man arrested by the National Crime Agency over his alleged involvement in the smuggling of migrants found dead in a lorry in Essex has had his extradition ordered.
Drug smuggler swallowed dozens of lethal cocaine pellets09/04/2021 12:15:00
A Dutchman who admitted swallowing 50 packets of cocaine in an attempt to smuggle them into the UK has been jailed for 32 months.
Specialist drugs and firearms team launched in new law enforcement partnership09/04/2021 10:25:00
A specialist team has been set up by the National Crime Agency and Merseyside Police to tackle high risk organised crime groups bringing drugs and firearms into the region.
Six remanded over alleged Class A excavator conspiracy07/04/2021 16:15:00
Six men have appeared in crown court charged in relation to the seizure of 450kg of MDMA hidden in an excavator that was shipped to Australia.
Global dark web drug network dismantled06/04/2021 09:20:00
Suspected members of an organised crime group responsible for selling vast quantities of MDMA on the dark web have been targeted in raids across the North East and Surrey.
Suspected head of people smuggling network extradited to Belgium02/04/2021 09:20:00
The suspected head of a crime network involved in smuggling migrants to the UK in the back of lorries has been extradited to Belgium to face trial
Drug dealer who hid £1.6m cocaine inside armchairs will sit in prison for nine years01/04/2021 10:10:00
An Essex upholsterer who was caught transporting £1.6m worth of cocaine within two chairs has been sentenced to nine years in prison