National Crime Agency
Lorry driver jailed for £3.2m cocaine smuggling plot
A Serbian lorry driver has been jailed for nine years after attempting to smuggle 40 kilos of cocaine into the UK hidden amongst a load of bottle tops and paper rolls.
The National Crime Agency investigated Vladimir Mrdak after the Slovakian-registered lorry he was driving was stopped at the Channel Tunnel terminal in Coquelles, France, on 12 July this year.
A search by Border Force uncovered the cocaine hidden in plastic wrapped packages which had been placed in boxes on top of the legitimate goods.
The drugs would have been worth around £3.2 million if sold on the streets of the UK.
Mrdak, 37, of Derventa, Bosnia and Herzegovina, told investigators he did not know how the drugs ended up in the trailer of the lorry.
He was subsequently charged with attempting to import class A drugs, which he pleaded guilty to during a hearing at Canterbury Crown Court on on 16 August.
Mrdak was sentenced to nine years' imprisonment recently (24 September).
NCA Branch Commander Mark Howes recently said:
“Organised crime groups rely on people like Mrdak to feed supplies of lethal class A drugs to the UK, so this intervention would have dealt them a blow.
“The trade in cocaine is synonymous with exploitation and violence, and this seizure would have dented the profits of those who poison our communities by distributing it.
“Our work with partners like Border Force to pursue the organised criminals behind drugs smuggling will never stop.”
Ian Hanson, Director, Europe and International of Border Force, recently said:
“Results like this are a testament to the hard work of Border Force officers and the close relationship with have with our NCA partners.
“I know that my officers are absolutely committed to preventing the flow of illegal drugs into the UK and disrupting the organised criminal gangs who rely on it.
“Thanks to their work a significant quantity of cocaine has been prevented from entering the country, and subsequent work with and by the NCA has led to a significant jail term for the man responsible.”
Latest News from
National Crime Agency
House buyers and businesses warned of payment diversion fraud26/10/2021 16:38:00
The National Economic Crime Centre has launched a campaign aimed at raising awareness of payment diversion fraud (PDF).
New campaign appeals to lorry drivers in crackdown on people smuggling26/10/2021 14:15:00
Lorry drivers across Britain are being urged to lock their vehicles and report any suspicious activity that could be linked to people smuggling, in a joint appeal being led by the National Crime Agency and Border Force.
Two UK residents jailed as part of people smuggling ring that saw twenty-one people convicted in France25/10/2021 15:43:00
Two UK residents have been jailed for a combined nine and a half years after the National Crime Agency secured their arrests and extradition to France where they were wanted for their part in smuggling at least 250 migrants into the UK.
Man wanted by NCA for conspiring to import class A drugs arrested in Lanzarote22/10/2021 14:15:00
A man wanted by the National Crime Agency for his involvement in the supply of class A drugs worth millions of pounds has been arrested in Lanzarote.
Cocaine worth 200million euros seized from sailing yacht off the coast of Portugal21/10/2021 09:15:00
Over five tonnes of cocaine with an estimated street value of 200 million euros – the largest ever seizure in Europe in recent years – has been recovered from a sailing vessel in the Atlantic
Jailed: Paedophile who sought out jobs where he’d have access to children18/10/2021 10:20:00
A man who sexually assaulted young children and was actively seeking opportunities to offend again has been jailed for 12 and-a-half years after a National Crime Agency investigation.
Cash forfeiture order success for National Crime Agency15/10/2021 11:15:00
Suspected criminal cash totalling almost €560,000 will be returned to the public purse after the National Crime Agency secured a forfeiture order following a smuggling attempt by a Dutch man.
Operation Venetic: Two men arrested in investigation linked to the recovery of £1.6m in cash13/10/2021 16:05:00
National Crime Agency officers have arrested two men as part of a drugs and money laundering investigation which led to the seizure of more than £1.6m last year.