Narcis-Bogdan Stoica from Neamt County in Romania tried to use a fake fruit and vegetable business as a cover for trafficking 15 kilos of Class A drugs into Kent, the United Kingdom. At Canterbury Crown Court, on Thursday, he pleading guilty to attempting to import the drugs which had a potential street value of an estimated £1.2 million and was sentenced to six years in prison.
The National Crime Agency began investigating Stoica after Border Force officials stopped him passing through the Channel Tunnel terminal at Coquelles near Calais on April 17. A search of the van he was driving revealed two purpose built concealments for the drugs behind the doorstep cover material, under both the passenger and driver's seats.
The 15 kilos of cocaine were hidden behind the doorstep underneath the driver and passenger seats. Image: NCA
According to an article on kentonline.co.uk, Stoica told officers, who found pallets of fruit and vegetables in the back of the van, that he was starting his own delivery business.
NCA Dover Branch Commander, Martin Grace, said: “This individual thought he could hide his criminal activity under the guise of a legitimate business. If undetected, this cocaine would have undoubtedly been distributed in the UK, where the class A drug trade fuels violence and exploitation. At the NCA we know that people like Stoica, who are willing to take risks, are crucial to the activities of serious organised crime groups.