Cocaine worth £20m smuggled in blocks of frozen meat

More than 200 kilos of drugs were seized

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

A man has been charged after a stash of cocaine worth more than £20 million wrapped in frozen meat was seized from the back of his lorry.

Border Force officials seized over 200kg of the meat-covered drugs from the Dutch-registered refrigerated HGV while carrying out checks.

The driver, 48-year-old Robert Tromp from Hillegom in the Netherlands, was questioned by the National Crime Agency and later charged with attempting to import class A drugs.

The packages of cocaine had been wrapped in blocks of frozen meat before being loaded onto pallets in the back of the truck.

The vehicle had arrived into Harwich, Essex from the Hook of Holland on Monday.

Mr Tromp appeared in Colchester Magistrates’ Court yesterday and has been remanded in custody until his next appearance at the Crown Court on December 12.

National Crime Agency branch commander Jacque Beer said, while forensic checks continue, the haul is like to have a street value exceeding £20 million.

“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.”

He added: “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.”

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