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A Dutch lorry driver has been jailed for 10 years, after admitting trying to smuggle £2million worth of cocaine into the UK through the port of Dover.
54 year old Gary Ouweling from Vlaardingen, was arrested after Border agency officials stopped his lorry at the port's Eastern Docks in July. During a search they found a man-made hiding space in the lorry's chassis with two bags inside it. The bags contained around 20 kilos of cocaine, formed into foil-wrapped one kilo "bricks".
Ouwerling was charged with the attempted importation, and pleaded guilty at Canterbury Crown Court on 4 November.
Malcolm Bragg, UK Border Agency’s Criminal and Financial Assistant Director for the UK Border Agency, Border Force South, said:"This sentence should act as a warning to those who attempt to smuggle illegal drugs into this country.
"The UK Border Agency has the ability to detect and bring to justice those who would attempt to smuggle in illegal drugs. Cocaine use destroys not only the lives of individual users, but also their families and the wider community."
Ayone with information about activity they suspect may be linked to drug smuggling should call UKBA's hotline on 0800 59 5000 or use http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/aboutus/contact/report-crime/
UK Border Agency officers use hi-tech search equipment to combat immigration crime and detect banned and restricted goods that smugglers attempt to bring into the country.
They also use an array of search techniques including detection dogs, carbon dioxide detectors, heartbeat monitors and scanners - as well as visual searches - to find well-hidden stowaways, illegal drugs, firearms and cigarettes which would otherwise end up causing harm to local people, businesses and communities.