Slovakian lorry driver jailed over £5m drugs haul

Pavol Cizmar and the lorry he was driving Image copyright National Crime Agency
Image caption Border officials said Cizmar attempted to paint a picture of himself as a legitimate truck driver

A lorry driver who tried to bring drugs worth more than £5m into the UK has been jailed for more than 11 years.

Pavol Cizmar, 45, from Slovakia, was intercepted at Killingholme ferry terminal after travelling from the Hook of Holland.

Border officers searched his vehicle and found rucksacks containing 45 packages of cocaine and heroin.

A stun gun and CS gas spray was also found during the search in June, Grimsby Crown Court heard.

'Criminal gang culture'

During interviews with National Crime Agency (NCA) investigators, Cizmar denied knowledge of any drugs and claimed they must have been dropped into his trailer through the roof by someone else.

He was charged with importing class A drugs and importing weapons.

Cizmar admitted the weapons offences and was found guilty of the drugs charge at trial.

His truck was listed as transporting rolls of paper.

However, in the trailer between the rolls border officials in North Lincolnshire found two rucksacks holding 45 brown tape-wrapped packages, each weighing about 1kg (2.2lbs).

'Professional drugs courier'

The packages contained 40kg (88lbs) of cocaine and 5kg (11lbs) of heroin.

Mick Maloney from the NCA's border policing unit said: "Cizmar attempted to paint a picture of himself as a legitimate truck driver.

"But in reality he was a professional drugs courier working for an organised criminal network.

"These kinds of crime groups are often also linked to violent crime, the exploitation of young and vulnerable people and criminal gang culture.

"They also rely on couriers like Cizmar, so his was a key part of a much longer chain."

Cizmar, who is from Hornè Lefantovce, was jailed for 11 years and four months.

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