A UK Border Force official has been convicted of working with other men to smuggle drugs and firearms into the United Kingdom. Simon Pellett, 37, was arrested by French police on 6 October 2017 in a supermarket car park in Loon Plage between Calais and Dunkirk.
Pellett was arrested after three heavy bags were loaded into the back of his unmarked Border Force van by David Baker, 55, who had driven his own car to the meeting point at Loon Plage.
Inside the bags were 6kg of heroin (£800,000 street value), 34kg of cocaine (£2.8m street value), 8 automatic pistols, two revolvers, three silencers and ammunition, including a magazine for a Skorpion sub-machine gun.
Pellett said that he thought he was only transporting a legal ‘oil-like’ substance used as an adulterant which would attract the attention of the authorities if bought in bulk in the UK.
Alex Howard, 35, who had been keeping lookout nearby in the car park, was also convicted. He said he thought he was helping smuggle cigarettes.
All three men were extradited from France back to the UK and were convicted on 13 November 2018 after a trial at Isleworth Crown Court.
Kate Mulholland, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “Our prosecution was able to prove that each of these men must have known they were knowingly smuggling firearms or drugs into the UK.
“This was a sophisticated operation using a UK Border Force employee who was supposed to be protecting the UK from these offences.
“Their defence that they did not know the real contents of the package was clearly not credible, and was disproved by surveillance, phone evidence, and the amount of drugs and weapons involved.”