National Crime Agency
Port worker jailed after being caught with cocaine and cash in his car
A port worker who was caught in possession of cocaine as he left work has been jailed for nearly seven years following a National Crime Agency investigation.
Ben Whitby, 30, from Grimsby was pulled over by officers from Humberside Police, who were working with the NCA, as he drove away from Killingholme Port in north Lincolnshire on 18 February.
On the back seat of his BMW car officers found a black rucksack containing around 2.25 kilos of cocaine, with an estimated potential street value of £178,000. In the glove box they found £3,000 cash.
Whitby was employed as a tug driver at the port and was unaware that he was under surveillance by NCA investigators, who earlier that day had seen him leave the place where he was living in New Waltham with the black rucksack and head to work.
Following his arrest officers searching his home recovered another £20,000 cash plus a number of high-value watches.
Whitby was charged with possessing drugs with intent to supply and money laundering.
During a hearing at Grimsby Crown Court on 4 May he pleaded guilty to the charges, and a judge at the same court sentenced him to six years and nine months years in prison today (Tuesday 23 June).
NCA branch commander Mark Spoors yesterday said:
“Ben Whitby used his position to engage in criminality for his own personal gain.
“Organised crime groups rely on people like him to bring their illicit commodities into the UK, indeed we know they actively look to recruit workers at ports and airports because of the access they have.
“I would urge anyone working in a port or airport environment who has suspicions about criminal activity to report it, through the police, Crimestoppers or through their own employers.
“The NCA and our partners in the police, Border Force and private sector are determined to root out corruption and stop those who would seek to abuse their position ion this way.
“As this case demonstrates, we have the capability to track and stop corrupt insiders, and will bring anyone involved in this type of criminality to justice.”
Head of the Special Operations Unit at Humberside Police, Chief Superintendent Christine Wilson, yesterday said:
“Following information supplied to us by the National Crime Agency, we were able to stop Ben Whitby in his tracks and disrupt the criminal activity he was involved with.
“Partner working is important to us as it allows us to bring more offenders to justice, such as in this case.
“It’s crucial we stop drugs coming into the both our area and the country as a whole, which is why we would urge anyone who has suspicions of this type of activity to contact us directly on our non-emergency 101 line or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
“Information from co-workers or the public can play a big role within our and the National Crime Agency’s investigations and could lead to the conviction of offenders intent on causing harm to our communities.”
Latest News from
National Crime Agency
“NCA not fu*@ing about,” say kingpin criminals06/07/2020 15:43:00
Kingpin criminals at the heart of a landmark law enforcement breakthrough into encrypted communications are in fear of the National Crime Agency and police, according to their messages.
Operation Venetic: suspect charged overnight with drugs and firearm supply06/07/2020 13:15:00
A 24-year-old man who was arrested recently (2nd July) as part of an National Crime Agency led investigation under Operation Venetic has been charged.
Man guilty after drugs worth millions found in toy delivery06/07/2020 12:43:00
A man who tried to smuggle cocaine worth over £8 million into the UK in a van delivering toy bricks has pleaded guilty.
NCA and police smash thousands of criminal conspiracies after infiltration of encrypted communication platform in UK’s biggest ever law enforcement operation02/07/2020 15:43:00
Entire organised crime groups dismantled during Operation Venetic with 746 arrests, and £54m criminal cash, 77 firearms and over two tonnes of drugs seized so far.
Wanted Birmingham man arrested in Amsterdam after nearly eight years on the run02/07/2020 11:15:00
A Birmingham drug trafficker has been arrested in Amsterdam after nearly eight years on the run.
London drug dealer jailed for cocaine supply and money laundering01/07/2020 17:08:00
An Albanian national been sentenced to 4 years in jail after admitting cocaine supply and money laundering yesterday at Inner London Crown Court.
IoW man charged over Newhaven £10m cocaine seizure01/07/2020 16:15:00
A man from the Isle of Wight has been charged as part of a National Crime Agency investigation into the seizure of cocaine worth £10 million at Newhaven port in East Sussex in November 2019.
West Belfast properties frozen as part of proceeds of crime investigation01/07/2020 14:43:00
National Crime Agency officers working as part of the Paramilitary Crime Task Force executed a search of a residential property in the West Belfast yesterday (30 June) as part of an operation targeting the proceeds of crime.