Chocolate tins used to smuggle £220,000 of cocaine through Gatwick

editorial image

Tins of hot chocolate were used in an attempt to smuggle four kilos of cocaine through Gatwick Airport.

Border Force officers seized the tins after carrying out a stop and search of passengers travelling to the UK from Jamaica on Thursday (April 19).

A man’s suitcase was searched and four tins of hot chocolate were found containing £220,000 worth of cocaine.

Emma Porter, Border Force South Director, said: “This is another excellent example of Border Force officers preventing Class A drugs from ending up on the streets of the UK, where they cause significant harm to both individuals and communities.

“Working with the National Crime Agency and other law enforcement partners we will continue to tackle smuggling of all kinds and bring those responsible to justice.”

The Home Office said a British national was arrested. He has been released under investigation while enquiries continue.

Minister for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability, Victoria Atkins, said: “The Government’s Serious Violence Strategy, which we launched this month, aims to combat the devastating impact drugs have on levels of serious violence.

“It also highlights a strong link between drugs and serious violence and the related harm and exploitation from county lines.

“The Government has set out the action it will take to tackle this violent and exploitative criminal activity.

“The action of Border Force to stop drugs before they get into the country forms a key part of our work.”

Border Force officers use hi-tech search equipment to detect banned and restricted goods that smugglers attempt to bring into the country.

Sniffer dogs, carbon dioxide detectors, heartbeat monitors, scanners and visual searches are used to find well-hidden stowaways, illegal drugs, firearms and tobacco which would end up causing harm to local people, businesses and communities.

Anyone with information about activity they suspect may be linked to smuggling should call the hotline on 0800 59 5000.