Harwich: Drug smuggler jailed for five-and-a-half years

A Dutch man tried to smuggle more than �2million pounds worth of drugs into Harwich International Port.

A Dutch man has been jailed for five and a half years after trying to smuggle more than �2million pounds worth of drugs into Harwich International Port.

Antonius Fredericus Meinders pleaded guilty to two charges of importing cannabis at Ipswich Crown Court on February 4.

The 34-year-old was arrested on November 22 last year after arriving in the UK on a ferry from the Hook of Holland.

Boxes containing 439 kilos of herbal cannabis, 295 kilos of cannabis resin, three kilos of amphetamine and three kilos of ectasy were discovered in his lorry’s trailer.

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The drugs have a total street value of �2.2million, UK Borders Agency officers said.

The boxes were found in the rear of the trailer behind a legitimate load of heating equipment bound for a shower and bath manufacturing company in Corby, Northamptonshire.

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Meinders initally denied all knowledge of the drugs but later admitted to investigators he was guilty of smuggling cannabis.

He maintains he was unaware of the amphetamine and ecstasy in his cargo was only charged in relation to the cannabis importation.

Meinders said he agreed to smuggle the cannabis in return 30,000€ which he was due to receive after the drugs had been delivered.

Malcolm Bragg, assistant director of criminal and financial investigations for the UK Border Agency, said: “Cases like this send a strong message to those involved in this dreadful trade that they will be caught and the consequences will be severe.”

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