3 February 2011, 14:34 | Updated: 16 February 2011, 13:52
Two Hungarian lorry drivers have been sentenced to a total of six years each after being found guilty of smuggling 132 kilos of amphetamine, with an estimated street value of £1.3 million, into the UK.
Canterbury Crown Court heard that Sandor SZABO and Csaba HOLLO were stopped by UK Border Agency officers at the port of Ramsgate on 26 September 2009 driving a Hungarian registered lorry.
After questioning the pair, officers searched the vehicle and found a white powdered substance hidden in ten unmarked brown boxes.
The pair were attempting to bring the Class B drug into the country under the cover of a legitimate load of roller shelf units destined for Cambridge University Library and paper for Spicer’s in Sawston.
Szabo was unable to satisfactorily explain to the court why his mobile phone contained a sent message referring to a ‘bag full of money’.
Malcolm Bragg, Assistant Director of Criminal and Financial Investigations for the UK Border Agency, said:
“The UK Border Agency is at the forefront in the fight to prevent illegal drugs entering the UK and in protecting our communities from the violence and corruption that accompanies this hideous trade.
“Anyone with information about activity they suspect may be linked to drugs smuggling should call our Hotline on 0800 59 5000.”
A jury found the men guilty after trial at Canterbury Crown Court on Wednesday 2 February, and they were sentenced the same day by His Honour Judge Van Der Bijl.
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.