Thursday, November 20, 2014

Pilot charged with attempting to smuggle cocaine worth £5million into North Yorkshire

Andrew Wright, 51, from Barlow, near Selby, was arrested after Border Force officers found 34 kilos of cocaine in a light aircraft at Breighton Aerodrome on Monday.

Wright was questioned by officers from the National Crime Agency following his arrest, and appeared at Leeds Magistrates' Court today where he was remanded in custody until his next appearance at Leeds Crown Court next month.

Mark Robinson, assistant director for Border Force, said the haul was "an excellent seizure", coordinated with local officers.

He said: "Working with law enforcement colleagues including the NCA we are determined to do all we can to prevent drug trafficking and put those responsible behind bars.

"This was an excellent seizure and demonstrates how Border Force officers play a crucial role in protecting the UK from illegal drugs and other contraband. By stopping this smuggling attempt we have prevented a sizeable amount of cocaine making it onto the streets."

Mick Maloney, from the NCA’s Border Policing Command, said: "This was a significant seizure and we estimate that once cut the drugs would have had a UK street value of in excess £5 million. Our investigation into those involved continues.

"I would encourage anyone who has information about unusual use of aircraft or activity in and around small airfields like Breighton to report it, no matter how trivial it may seem."

The arrest was made under Project Pegasus - which sees Border Force, the National Crime Agency and police forces around the country work together to investigate unusual activity at small airports.

Anyone with information which could help the investigation should phone police on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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