Lorry driver found not guilty over £4m drug haul

The haul was uncovered by customs officers at Harwich Container Port Picture: CARL MARSTON

The haul was uncovered by customs officers at Harwich Container Port Picture: CARL MARSTON - Credit: Archant

A Dutch lorry driver accused of smuggling drugs with a street value of more than £4 million into the UK through Harwich has been cleared by a jury.

Before Ipswich Crown Court was Jan Van Roekel, 48, of Bergstraat, Ede, Netherlands who denied six offences of being knowingly concerned in the fraudulent evasion of the prohibition on the importation of goods on May 19 this year.

He was found not guilty of all the offences.

During his two-day trial the court heard that six different drugs, including cocaine, ecstasy, crystal meth and cannabis resin, were found hidden behind a wooden tyre rack in Van Roekel's truck which also contained a stock car.

The court heard that the drug haul included eight kilos of ketamine with a street value of £240,000, six kilos of crystal meth with a street value of £892,000, 25 kilos of ecstasy with a street value of £1 million, 23 kilos of cocaine with a street value of £1,920,000, six kilos of cannabis with a street value of £60,000.

Van Roekel said he had been paid 500 Euros to transport the stock car to Northampton Oval racetrack and had no knowledge of the drugs.