Six men have been jailed for distributing drugs imported in specially modified ambulances.
Birmingham Crown Court heard the quantities of cocaine, heroin and ecstasy involved were “truly colossal”.
The drugs were hidden in secret compartments sealed with riveted panels inside Dutch ambulances entering the UK by ferry ports.
Investigators believe there were at least 45 trips involving drugs with a street value of £1.6bn.
The sentencings come after three Dutch nationals were jailed for their part in the same operation last year.
James Gibson, 56, from Cinder Lane, Ollerton, Nottinghamshire: 20 years for conspiracy to import and supply Class A drugs, and concealing criminal property
Petrit Kastrati, 42, from Oakwood Drive, Crystal Palace: 17 years and six months for conspiracy to import Class A drugs
Raymond DeSilva, 60, from Cranbourne Road, Slough: 16 years for conspiracy to import Class A drugs
Jonathan Floyd, 47, from Whitethorn Avenue, Burnage, Manchester: 15 years for conspiracy to import and supply Class A drugs and driving while disqualified
Darren Owen, 48, from Balham Close, Rushden, Northamptonshire: 15 years for conspiracy to import and supply Class A drugs
Richard Clarke, 36, from Tots Gardens, Acton, near Sudbury in Suffolk: 11 years for conspiracy supply Class A drugs
Brent Lyon, operations manager at the National Crime Agency, which led the operation to catch the smugglers, said their jailing has “disrupted” organised crime groups in the UK.
“This was an audacious plot by organised criminals who were driven by profit and who went to extreme lengths to avoid law enforcement attention,” he said.
Source:: BBC UK