Truck driver jailed for trying to smuggle almost £2million of cocaine into UK

A Polish truck driver was caught trying to smuggle almost ?2 million worth of cocaine into the UK. Erwin Jozef Kuchowicz was stopped by Border Force officers at Dover in December 2019. They found 24 kilos of cocaine hidden in a locker inside the cabin of the 37-year-old’s truck.

Once cut and sold the drugs would have had an estimated street value of ?1.9 million. Kuchowicz, from Zaniemy?l, Poland, was arrested and interviewed by National Crime Agency investigators.

Kuchowicz had 24 kilos of cocaine hidden in a locker inside the cabin

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Several hours after his arrest he changed his story, claiming that two men had stopped him at a service station and issued threats against his family if he didn’t carry the drugs. NCA investigators worked with Europol and the Polish police to disprove his story, and he was charged.

On Friday 4 September, following a two day trial at Canterbury Crown, Kuchowicz was found guilty of importing class A drugs and sentenced to a twelve-and-a-half-year jail sentence.

Truck driver jailed for trying to smuggle almost £2million of cocaine into UKHis lorry was stopped and searched at Dover

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Andrea Wilson CBE, regional head of investigations for London East and South East, NCA said: “Erwin Kuchowicz was attempting to smuggle a significant quantity of cocaine into the UK. “Organised crime groups involved in drug trafficking are often also involved in violence and exploitation, so cutting off their supply lines and profits reduces the harm they can cause to our country. “They also need the services of people like Kuchowicz to transport contraband across borders, so this serves as a reminder that those who attempt to smuggle drugs face being punished with a substantial prison sentence.”

Chris Philp , minister for immigration compliance and the courts, said the actions of Border Force officers prevented the drugs from reaching the streets.

He added: “We will continue to collaborate with law enforcement partners like the NCA to ensure drugs smugglers face the full force of the law.”

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