Cocaine found in frozen meat load - man arrested
- Credit: Archant
A truck driver has been charged with attempting to import class A drugs after cocaine worth an estimated £20million was seized at Harwich wrapped in slabs of frozen meat.
The National Crime Agency (NCA) began an investigation after Border Force officers carried out a check on a refrigerated HGV arriving into the international port on Monday.
Packages of cocaine were wrapped in blocks of frozen meat, and then loaded onto pallets in the back of the truck.
More than 200 kilos was seized by officers.
Lorry driver Robert Tromp, 48, from Hillegom in the Netherlands, was questioned by NCA investigators and later charged with an importation offence.
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He appeared before Colchester magistrates yesterday where he was remanded in custody.
He will next appear at Chelmsford Crown Court on December 12.
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Jacque Beer, National Crime Agency branch commander, said: "While forensic checks are still being carried out on this seizure, it is likely that the total haul would have had a street value in excess of £20 million once cut and sold at a street purity level.
"Our investigation into those responsible is continuing, but we can say that this will have put a big dent in the profits of the criminal network likely to be behind it and caused them substantial disruption.
"The illicit drug trade is a key driver behind the gang violence and exploitation we see on UK streets, which is why we, along with partners like Border Force, are determined to do all we can to stop drugs at source and protect the public.
"This was an excellent detection by our Border Force colleagues."
Harwich International Port is one of the UK's leading multi-purpose freight and passenger ports.
The main user of the port is the regular ferry services of Stena Line to the Hoek van Holland.