The UK Border Force has uncovered a 418 kilogram shipment of cocaine at the Channel Tunnel. Estimated to have a street value of £33 million, the Class A substance was concealed via onion ring packaging.

The drugs were expected to travel from Coquelles, Northern France, to Folkstone shores on Thursday night but were halted before entering the UK.

The lorry driver, Piotr Perzenowski, 30, from Mazowieckie, Poland, has been apprehended and charged with smuggling Class A narcotics. 

“This was a really significant amount of drugs taken out of circulation,” said Mark Howes, the National Crime Agency’s branch commander. “The seizure will deprive the organised crime group responsible for them of profit which would have fuelled more offending. Working with our partners such as Border Force, we will continue to fight the Class A drugs threat in our mission to protect the public.” 

Following a review of drugs throughout the nation by Dame Carol Black, the UK government has vowed to put forth £80 million into treatment and rehabilitation services. The plan is expected to be the most significant increase in drug treatment funding in over 15 years, according to iNewsTheir figures also indicate mass drug misuse is rising, with drug-related deaths increasing over 80% since 2012. 

Perzenowski appeared at Folkestone Magistrates’ Court last Saturday and will remain in custody until his Crown Court hearing in Canterbury on Monday, December 13.