Smuggler thought no one would notice £1.7m of cocaine hidden in his lorry

A Romanian man has pleaded guilty to trying to smuggle class A drugs after GBP1.7m worth of cocaine was found in the back of a lorry at the Port of Hull. Border Force officers uncovered 21kg of the drug hidden under a load of timber in a Romanian-registered lorry that had just arrived on a ferry from Zeebrugge, Belgium. The contents of one of the packages tested positive for cocaine and a Romanian man was charged with importing a Class A drug.

The drugs were uncovered on Wednesday and the man, 34-year-old Mihai Ciceu, of no fixed abode, appeared in Hull Magistrates’ Court on Friday (January 24), where he pleaded guilty.

The 21kg of cocaine seized would have a street value of around GBP1.7m

He is due to make his next appearance at Hull Crown Court on February 21. Border force assistant director Nick Ward said: “Border Force officers are at the forefront of the fight to keep illegal drugs out of the country. “The estimated street value of this cocaine would have been around GBP1.7m, and by making this seizure we have made a considerable dent in the profits of the criminals involved.

“Every year Border Force officers operating at the UK border seize Class A drugs worth hundreds of millions of pounds.

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“Working with law enforcement partners like the National Crime Agency (NCA) we are determined to prevent drug trafficking and to bring those responsible to justice.” 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. 

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Do you want a new job? Visit Fish4Jobs  to see all the vacancies in your area. 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.

Anyone with information about activity they suspect may be linked to smuggling should call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or go to www.gov.uk/report-smuggling.

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