Last reviewed 18 March 2021

Border Force officers stopped 81 kilos of cocaine and three kilos of heroin, with a street level value of £6.7 million, from entering the country after they searched a lorry at Dover.

The packages of drugs were found concealed in pallets beneath boxes of frozen pizza.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) began an investigation into Slovenian national Adam Grzelj in April 2020 after his lorry was intercepted at the Channel port.

The case was heard by Canterbury Crown Court on 26 February and he was found guilty of importing class A drugs and jailed for 15 years.

A second driver, Kiril Hubavenski, from Bulgaria, was detained at Dover on 20 June last year. Officers found 11 kilos of heroin and 26 kilos cocaine hidden beneath the mattresses of the bunks in his cab.

NCA forensic experts valued the haul at £3.2 million.

Mr Hubavenski, who had only recently been released from prison in Bulgaria after being convicted of unlawful killing in 2014, was found guilty of drug smuggling on 1 March and was jailed for 16 years.

NCA Dover branch operations manager Debbie Cook explained that organised criminal gangs rely on corrupt drivers like these to bring their illicit commodities into the UK.

“These men have received substantial and life-changing jail terms for that,” she said. “I hope it sends out a message to other hauliers who might consider doing the same.”