Ten years’ prison for lorry driver who brought cocaine & heroin worth £9.5m through Harwich Port

65kg of cocaine found on soft drinks lorry at Harwich Port on arriving Hook of Holland ferry on Janu

65kg of cocaine found on soft drinks lorry at Harwich Port on arriving Hook of Holland ferry on January 27 2016 - Credit: Archant

A lorry driver who attempted to smuggle cocaine and heroin worth more than £9.5million into the UK through the Port of Harwich has been jailed for 10 years.

Roberto Giannetta, convicted of bringing in heroin and cocaine through Harwich Por.

Roberto Giannetta, convicted of bringing in heroin and cocaine through Harwich Por. - Credit: Archant

Roberto Giannetta, 38, was sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court today, having pleaded guilty to a charge of importing a class A drug at an earlier hearing.

Giannetta, from Lecce, Italy, was stopped by Border Force officers when he arrived at Harwich on a ferry from the Hook of Holland on January 27.

His lorry, carrying soft drinks, was X-rayed and then physically searched.

During the search officers found a series of packages concealed within the lorry’s cab.

Drugs illegally smuggled into the UK by Roberto Giannetta

Drugs illegally smuggled into the UK by Roberto Giannetta - Credit: Archant

In total, 65 packages – each weighing approximately 1kg - were recovered from the material lining of the roof, the wall and underneath the bunk bed.


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Three tested positive for heroin while 62 contained cocaine. The cocaine was worth an estimated £9.4m and the heroin an estimated £166,000.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) handled the investigation.

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Charlotte Mann, Border Force assistant director at Harwich, said: “Giannetta had used virtually every conceivable hiding place within the cab in an attempt to bring as much cocaine and heroin as possible into the UK.

“His attempt was stopped thanks to the expertise of my officers and the technology at their disposal.

“The end result was a substantial seizure of dangerous class A drugs and a lengthy prison sentence for the man responsible.

“We will continue to work with our colleagues at the NCA to stop drug traffickers and bring them to justice.”

Anyone with information about activity they suspect may be linked to smuggling can call the Border Force hotline on 0800 59 5000.

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