Corrupt UK Border officer convicted of smuggling drugs and guns worth millions

Simon Pellett caught with cocaine, heroin, pistols and revolvers 

Tom Horton
Tuesday 13 November 2018 23:30
Simon Pellett and two accomplices were arrested near the French port of Calais.
Simon Pellett and two accomplices were arrested near the French port of Calais.

A corrupt UK border officer has been convicted over a plot to smuggle £3.8 million of drugs and guns into the country.

Simon Pellett, 37, was arrested by French police in October 2017 after being caught with a Border Agency van loaded with the illegal goods, in a supermarket car park in Loon Plage, near Calais.

Three heavy bags were in the van containing 6kg of heroin with a street value of £800,000, 34kg of cocaine with a street value of £2.8 million, eight automatic pistols, two revolvers, three silencers and ammunition, including a magazine for a sub-machine gun, according to a Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) statement.

Pellett, a UK Border Agency official from Dover, claimed to think he was only transporting a "legal, oil-like substance used as an adulterant which would attract the attention of the authorities if brought in bulk in the UK", they added.

Kate Mulholland, a specialist prosecutor for the London Crown Prosecution Service complex casework unit, said: "This was a sophisticated operation using a UK Border Agency employee who was supposed to be protecting the UK from these offences."

Pellett was convicted of three counts of conspiracy to be knowingly concerned in concealing goods with intent to avoid prohibition on importation, namely cocaine, heroin and firearms, as well as one count of misconduct in public office.

Two other men were also convicted at Isleworth Crown Court.

Alex Howard, 35, of Sittingbourne, Kent, who had been keeping lookout nearby, was also convicted of conspiracy to be knowingly concerned in concealing goods with intent to avoid prohibition on importation, namely cocaine and heroin.

The drugs had a total street value of £3.4 million.
The firearms included self-loading and machine pistols, revolvers, silencers and suitable ammunition.

He claimed he thought he was helping smuggle cigarettes.

David Baker, 55, of Beckenham in south London, was also convicted after driving his own car to the supermarket car park and loading the bags into Pellett's van.

He was convicted of three counts of conspiracy to be knowingly concerned in concealing goods with intent to avoid prohibition on importation, namely cocaine, heroin and firearms.

The three men were extradited from France to the UK to face trial.

Ms Mulholland added: "Their defence that they did not know the real contents of the package was clearly not credible, and was disproved by surveillance, phone evidence and the amount of drugs and weapons involved. Our prosecution was able to prove that each of these men must have known they were smuggling firearms and drugs into the UK."

All three men are due to be sentenced later this week.

Press Association

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in