Dover Eastern Docks’ Border Force officers on Friday found 20 handguns, 1,000 rounds of ammunition and a variety of class A and B drugs in a lorry driven by Polish nationals 31-year-old Łukasz Kur and 32-year-old Rafał Anyszek.
The two Poles concealed their illicit cargo under the stated photocopier paper with a delivery address in Cardiff, a place where the load was never expected to arrive.
The cocktail of drugs worth GBP7.5 mln (EUR 8.392 mln) consisted of approximately 300 kg (660 lbs) methamphetamine, 50 kg (110 lbs) of ketamine , 50 kg (110 lbs) of cocaine, and 10 kg (22 lbs) of heroin.
Kathryn Philpott, Senior Investigating Officer for the British National Crime Agency (NCA), said: “This is a substantial seizure of firearms and ammunition which would pose a significant risk to life once in the hands of criminals in the UK.”
Both men have already heard charges and remained in custody to appear at Margate Magistrates Court on Monday morning.
NCA sees drug smuggling by organised criminals as “a major threat” to the British state – a threat that costs GBP 10.7 bn (EUR 11.9 bn) per year. The cocaine and heroin smuggled by the two Poles are listed by NCA as the most serious category which also includes crack cocaine and ecstasy that, according to the Agency, “are widely available throughout the UK.”
In the UK, black market drug prices are among the highest in Europe, which makes it possible to repay the costs of smuggling, rendering UK illegal drugs market extremely attractive to organised criminals.
“A large number of foreign nationals are also heavily involved in the illegal drugs trade in the UK. Some have cultural and familial ties to the countries the drugs come from or travel through – this makes it easier for them to take major roles in the trade,” reads the NCA official website.