Second man charged after cocaine worth £10m found in frozen fish van

He is due to appear in court next month.

Frozen fish cocaine haul
Frozen fish cocaine haul

A man from the Isle of Wight has been charged as police investigate the seizure of almost 100 kilos of cocaine from the back of a van carrying frozen fish.

Jean-Pierre Labelle, 43, from Ashey Road in Ryde, was initially arrested by NCA officers in March. He was re-arrested on Saturday 27 June and charged with importing class A drugs the next day.

It follows the huge £10 million cocaine haul discovered in the early hours of November 23 at Newhaven port in East Sussex.

Border Force officers recovered 97 packages, each containing approximately a kilo of cocaine from the back of a van carrying frozen fish.

Frozen fish cocaine haul
Cocaine found hidden in a load of frozen fish discovered in the back of a refrigerated van when the vehicle was searched as it came off a ferry at Newhaven port, in East Sussex

The driver, 50-year-old James Satterley from Cookham in Maidenhead, was later charged with importing class A drugs. He now awaits trial.

Following an appearance before Newport magistrates on Monday, Labelle was remanded in custody until his next appearance at Lewes Crown Court on July 27.

NCA branch commander Peter Stevens said: “Working with partners like Border Force, we are determined to do all we can to disrupt and dismantle criminal networks involved in attempts to circumvent border controls.

“Illegal drugs are linked to violence on our streets and the exploitation of the vulnerable – that is why this type of crime is a priority for us.”

Tim Kingsberry, Border Force regional director, said: “This was an excellent seizure by Border Force officers, who have prevented a large amount of lethal Class A drugs from reaching the UK’s streets.

“Alongside our law enforcement partners, we will continue to do all we can to disrupt the international trade in drug smuggling.”

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