£1 Million Worth Of Drugs Found Smuggled In Face Masks Shipment

There’s more than one way to relieve suffering from a pandemic. Mixed in with a shipment of face masks headed for the United Kingdom, authorities found roughly 14 kilograms of cocaine.

It is perhaps arguable whether the nation’s pent up, frustrated population under lockdown could have used the £1 million worth of cocaine to take its mind off of things and kickstart a stalling economy. However, the U.K. Border Force, which seized the drugs, did not seem amicable to entertaining that argument.

The vehicle had been transporting the essential protective gear which has been in such high demand since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus earlier this year.

It was stopped in the Channel Tunnel (or “Chunnel”) which runs from France to England. 15 packages were found inside the vehicle and the powdery substance inside them confirmed as cocaine.

“This seizure shows the lengths drug smugglers will go to. It is despicable to think they would try and exploit the current situation in this way to get their dangerous drugs on to the UK’s streets,” said Ian Hanson, Border Force regional director for Coquelles, as reported by The Evening Standard.

The driver was a 34-year-old Polish national. He has been arrested and held for questioning by the National Crime Agency (NCA).

Authorities have said that the “masks have been detained pending checks by regulators,” so they could still go on to medical professionals or others who need them.

“This seizure is further evidence of the way criminal networks are attempting to exploit the coronavirus outbreak to their own ends, covering this load of drugs with what would seem like vital protective equipment,” said Darren Herbert, NCA Dover branch operations manager.

Photo via Flickr/Morgan

Natalie