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£700k cocaine smuggler uses same lorry as cannabis-trafficking brother

Double time: Polish truck driver Piotr Chmielowiec used the same vehicle as his brother PICTURES: SWNS

A LORRY driver smuggled cocaine worth £700,000 into Britain in the same truck his brother used for drug trafficking two years earlier.

Piotr Chmielowiec, 49, had a 14kg shipment of drugs hidden in 14 sealed food boxes under the driver’s bunk.

The Polish national was stopped at Dover in August by Border Force police who later discovered the same truck was used by his brother for smuggling cannabis in 2016.

Chmielowiec was jailed for nine years at Canterbury Crown Court yesterday.

Haul: 14kg of cocaine was found under the driver’s bunk in food containers (below)

Deborah Cook, Dover operations manager at the National Crime Agency, said: ‘Piotr Chmielowiec clearly didn’t learn any lessons from his brother’s experience and as a result he faces a long time behind bars.

‘Drugs like cocaine fuel violence and exploitation on our streets.

‘Working with our colleagues at Border Force we are determined to disrupt the organised crime groups involved in drug trafficking, and one way we can do that is by catching and prosecuting smugglers such as Chmielowiec.’

In interviews with NCA investigators, Chmielowiec admitted placing the packages in the boxes and sealing them up.

But he initially claimed he believed they contained tobacco not cocaine.

He said he had been told to head to junction 11 of the M20 where the packages would be taken from him.

Investigators then found the same lorry had been used by Chmielowiec’s brother in January 2016.

His brother was arrested in possession of five kilos of cannabis and handed a 20-month suspended jail sentence.

Chmielowiec pleaded guilty to attempting to import class A drugs.

Nick Drinkal, deputy director of Border Force South East and Europe, said: ‘This is another excellent example of Border Force officers preventing a substantial quantity of drugs, with an estimated street level value of around £700,000, from ending up on the streets of the UK, where they cause significant harm to both individuals and communities.

‘Working with our colleagues at the NCA we are determined to do all we can to stop drug traffickers and ensure that those who involve themselves in this activity face the full consequences of their crimes.’