The lorry driver who attempted to smuggle £1.25 million of heroin into Essex

A lorry driver has been sent to prison after trying to smuggle GBP1.25million of heroin into the UK. Dariusz Urban, from Poland, was caught hiding the drugs in his lorry after arriving in Harwich, Essex, earlier this year. In February, an international law enforcement partnership cracked the EncroChat network.

EncroChat was a system being used by criminals to communicate with each other in secret.

Dariusz Urban has been jailed for 12 years

After gaining access to the system, the National Crime Agency gained intelligence of Urban’s plan to smuggle drugs into the UK. On April 15, Border Force were waiting for Urban to arrive at Harwich International Port. His lorry was searched, with 25kg of heroin being found before Urban was arrested by police.

The 50 packets of the class A drug were concealed within two steel vehicle ramps inside the truck.

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Signing up to the newsletter is simple. Just put your email address in the box at the top of this story and click ‘subscribe’.  It’s one of the many ways that you can read the news that matters to you from EssexLive. Urban, of Ostrzeszow in western Poland, was also in possession of an EncroChat phone.

News of Urban’s arrest was published and soon heard by the other criminals involved in the crime. The next day, a screenshot of the news was posted into EncroChat asking the suspect “This you?”. A supplier in the Netherlands was later arrested by Dutch authorities.

The drugs were hidden in two steel vehicle ramps inside the truck

Urban appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court on Thursday (September 3) after previously admitting to attempting to import Class A drugs.

The judge sentenced him to 12 years in prison. This case was led by Operation Venetic, who have discovered thousands of criminal conspiracies, resulting in the arrests of hundreds of suspects and the seizure of scores of firearms and more than two tonnes of Class A and B drugs. NCA Deputy Director Matt Horne, who is the gold commander on Operation Venetic, said: “Darius Urban’s sentencing is another example of the impact the NCA, Border Force and UK policing are having on serious organised crime.

“Like many other cases, with this operation we were able to plot how the drugs would be picked up and moved and when would be best to strike. “There is much more to come.” NCA branch commander Mark Spoors added: “Drug traffickers don’t care at all about the hell they wreak on communities.

“The seizure of this significant amount of heroin means the crime groups trading it have lost money which won’t be fed back into other drugs deals.

“Stopping drugs traffickers is a top priority – and we’ll continue working with our partners at home and abroad to do it.”

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