Police capture drugs suspect
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Drugs smuggler arrested after 100mph motorway chase

Video footage has been released of the moment police arrested drug importer Joseph Peel after a 100mph (160km/h) motorway chase.

After stopping him on the M26 in Kent, officers found 43kg (95lb) of cocaine and 60kg (132lb) of heroin - worth £12m - in the boot of his hired BMW, along with 30 encrypted mobile phones.

The drugs had been flown into the UK from Belgium on a helicopter that made an unscheduled stop in Yalding, Kent.

Dutch pilot Niels Wartenbergh and passenger Ricardo Vorstenbosch were arrested at Redhill Aerodrome. All three men have been jailed.

Image caption Drugs gang (l-r) Niels Wartenbergh, Joseph Peel and Ricardo Vorstenbosch all admitted conspiring to import class A drugs. Picture: National Crime Agency

Wartenbergh and fellow Dutch national Vorstenbosch were each jailed for 18 years and Peel, from North Kensington in north-west London, for 16 years. The sentences were passed at Croydon Crown Court.

Airfields targeted

The court was told the helicopter was being tracked as part of an investigation involving the National Crime Agency (NCA), Metropolitan Police, Border Force, and the Dutch and Belgian authorities.

The day of the arrests Dutch police searched Vorstenbosch's home in Eindhoven and uncovered another 3kg (7lb) of cocaine, a drug press, vacuum-packing machines and a gun.

Gary Fennelly, head of the NCA's team at Gatwick, said it was targeting criminals who tried to use small airfields as a way into the UK.

"In addition to recovering over 100kg of class A drugs, the operation prevented crime on a much wider scale by denying the sale of drugs worth millions to the crime group," he said.

  • 09 Sep 2016