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Men jailed for £90m cocaine smuggling attempt

Packages of drugs smuggled by two men who have been jailed for more than 42 years after cocaine worth �90m was found on their yacht.

Packages of drugs smuggled by two men who have been jailed for more than 42 years after cocaine worth �90m was found on their yacht.

 

Two men have been jailed for more than 42 years after cocaine worth £90m was found on their yacht in Portsmouth.

Polish nationals Tomasz Konrad Dylik and Piotr Ryszard Pachnia were arrested in June last year after their boat, Baila, was intercepted off the Isle of Wight by Border Force officers on HMC Valiant.

Dylik, 48 who pleaded guilty to drug smuggling charges, was sentenced at Winchester Crown Court to 18 and a half years.

Pachnia, 33, was found guilty by a jury and sentenced to 24 years.

The court heard officers boarded the vessel on June 9 and questioned both men, who initially said they sailed around the Mediterranean.

Suspicions were raised when swab samples gave high readings for heroin, and food items from South America and the Caribbean were also found.

When re-questioned, Dylik said their last port of call was the Dominican Republic.

The Border Force officers ordered the pair to sail into Portsmouth Naval Base where the yacht was searched and cocaine weighing 452kg was found.

Laboratory tests showed the drug was 89.9 per cent pure.

The drugs had been taped into packages divided between three locked holdalls, bin liners, hessian sacks and loose piles.

Tim Fleming, from the Border Force, said: ‘This was a significant seizure and the sentences given to Pachnia and Dylik should serve as a stark warning to anyone who attempts to smuggle class A drugs at the border or within British territorial waters.

‘We will catch you and you will face a long time in jail.

‘Our officers are on constant alert to keep drugs and other prohibited items out of the country and we are determined to do all we can to stamp out this evil trade.’

 
 
 

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