United Kingdom

Truck driver is jailed for 11 years after being caught with £7.5million of cocaine at Dover

Miodrag Ivankovic, 45, tried to smuggle £7.5million worth of cocaine into the UK

A truck driver who tried to smuggle £7.5million worth of cocaine into the UK has been jailed for 11 years.

Miodrag Ivankovic, 45, was caught at the port of Dover, in Kent, in September last year after arriving from Calais.

He had tried to hide 207lb (94kg) of the Class A drug inside a pallet of boxes in his vehicle.

However, when officers from the National Crime Agency searched his truck and cut into the boxes, a white powder spilled out which was confirmed to be cocaine.

Ivankovic's DNA was on the boxes containing the drug and he admitted trying to smuggle it into the country.

The driver, from Banja Luka, in north Bosnia, was jailed at Canterbury Crown Court yesterday. 

NCA branch commander Martin Grace said: 'We and our Border Force partners have taken a significant consignment of cocaine out of the supply chain.

'The organised crime group behind the plot have lost profits they would have ploughed back into more offending and they have lost a trusted smuggler.

Ivankovic had tried to hide 207lb (94kg) of the Class A drug inside a pallet of boxes in his vehicle. Above: The haul found by officers

'Drugs bring misery to UK communities and the NCA will continue to do everything it can to combat the threat.'

It comes after German trucker Kawus Rafiei, 57, was jailed for 19 years in March after he tried to smuggle half a tonne of cocaine worth £38million into the UK via Dover.

The drug was found hidden inside stacks of tyres in his lorry.   

Two shrink-wrapped stacks of tyres within the trailer unit were opened, revealing packages of cocaine weighing 1,036 pounds (470 kilos).

And, the same month Ivankovic's crime was discovered, around a tonne of cocaine was found concealed within shipments of fruit, also at Dover. 

The drugs, which had a street value of approximately £100 million, was discovered in pallets which had arrived on a vessel from South America.

The 'huge seizure' will now take away a 'valuable commodity that would have been sold to fund further serious and organised criminality', the National Crime Agency (NCA) said.

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