German trucker, 57, is jailed for 19 years for drug smuggling

German trucker, 57, is jailed for 19 years for drug smuggling after being caught at Dover with half a ton of cocaine worth £38million hidden in stacks of tyres in the back of his lorry

  • Kawus Rafiei, 57, was found guilty of attempting to import Class A drugs 
  • Border Force officers scanned Rafiei’s lorry and ‘detected anomaly in the load’
  • 2 shrink-wrapped stacks of tyres within the trailer unit were opened by officers
  • They revealed packages of cocaine weighing 1,036 pounds (470 kilos)
  • Believed to be worth £37.6million once cut and sold on the streets of the UK

Kawus Rafiei, 57, was found guilty of attempting to import Class A drugs following a five-day trial at Canterbury Crown Court in Kent

A German trucker has been jailed for 19 years after he tried to smuggle half a tonne of cocaine worth £38million into Britain hidden inside stacks of tyres in his lorry.

Kawus Rafiei, 57,  was found guilty of attempting to import Class A drugs following a five-day trial at Canterbury Crown Court in Kent. 

Officers started investigating Rafiei – originally from Shiraz in Iran – after a ‘huge’ drugs seizure was made at Dover’s Eastern Docks on March 18 last year.

Border Force officers had scanned Rafiei’s lorry and ‘detected an anomaly in the load’, the National Crime Agency (NCA) said.

Two shrink-wrapped stacks of tyres within the trailer unit were opened, revealing packages of cocaine weighing 1,036 pounds (470 kilos).

Forensic experts believe the seized drugs would have been worth an estimated £37.6million once cut and sold on the streets of the UK. 


Two shrink-wrapped stacks of tyres within the trailer unit were opened, revealing packages of cocaine (pictured) weighing 1,036 pounds (470 kilos)

Rafiei had paperwork for two ‘legitimate’ deliveries on board and produced additional documentation for the tyres which showed they were loaded in the Netherlands and heading to a car fitting company in the UK, the NCA said.

But NCA officers were able to show the paperwork had been ‘doctored’ for the cover load. 

NCA Dover branch commander Martin Grace said: ‘This seizure prevented a huge amount of cocaine from coming into the UK, and has landed a corrupt lorry driver in jail.

‘The drugs trade leads to violence in our communities, and often it’s the most vulnerable people who suffer the consequences.

‘Working with partners like Border Force, we are committed to breaking the supply chain, and disrupting the organised crime groups involved.’

NCA officers were able to show the paperwork had been ‘doctored’ for the cover load. Pictured: Some of the cocaine found by officers

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