A Slovakian lorry driver who used his truck to import cocaine and heroin worth more than £5 million into the UK has been given an 11 year prison sentence, following an investigation by the National Crime Agency.
Pavol Cizmar, 45, from Hornè Lefantovce in Slovakia, was intercepted at Killingholme ferry terminal in north Lincolnshire on 6 June as he drove off a ferry from the Hook of Holland.
Border Force officers conducted a search of his vehicle, which was listed as transporting rolls of paper. In the trailer between the rolls they discovered two rucksacks holding 45 brown tape-wrapped packages, all weighing around one kilo.
Test on the packages revealed they contained 40 kilos of cocaine and five kilos of heroin.
In his cab a stun gun and CS gas spray were also found.
During interviews with NCA investigators Cizmar denied knowledge of any drugs, claiming that they must have been dropped into his trailer through the roof by someone else.
He was charged with importing class A drugs and the importation of weapons. Cizmar admitted the weapons charge, and on Friday 9 December at Grimsby Crown Court he was found guilty of the drugs offences and sentenced to 11 years and four months in jail.
Mick Maloney, from the NCA’s Border Policing Command, said: “Cizmar attempted to paint a picture of himself as a legitimate truck driver.
“But in reality he was a professional drugs courier working for an organised criminal network.
“These kinds of crime groups are often also linked to violent crime, the exploitation of young and vulnerable people, and criminal gang culture.
“They also rely on couriers like Cizmar, so his was a key part of a much longer chain.”
Mark Robinson, Assistant Director of Border Force Yorkshire & Humber, said: “This was a significant drug seizure by Border Force officers which prevented a vast amount of harmful substances reaching the UK’s streets
“Cocaine and heroin are destructive drugs which damage communities and ruin the lives of users. Our officers are on constant alert to keep substances like this out of the country.
“We will continue to work closely with the National Crime Agency to ensure the criminals behind drug smuggling are caught and convicted.”