The National Crime Agency have charged a truck driver with attempting to import class A drugs after cocaine likely to be worth more than £20 million was seized at Harwich.

Cocaine inside frozen meatThe NCA began an investigation after Border Force officers carried out a check on a Dutch-registered refrigerated HGV arriving into the port from Hook of Holland yesterday (Monday 11 November).

They found that packages of cocaine were wrapped in blocks of frozen meat, and then loaded onto pallets in the back of the truck. More than 200 kilos was seized.

The lorry driver, 48-year-old Robert Tromp from Hillegom in the Netherlands, was questioned by NCA investigators and later charged with an importation offence.

He appeared before Colchester magistrates today (12 November) where he was remanded in custody until his next appearance at Chelmsford Crown Court on 12 December.

Frozen meat and pallets in truck

National Crime Agency branch commander Jacque Beer said:

“While forensic checks are still being carried out on this seizure, it is likely that the total haul would have had a street value in excess of £20 million once cut and sold at a street purity level.

“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.

“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.”

12 November 2019