Irish truck driver arrested after €6m worth of drugs found in chocolate cargo

Man (64) stopped at Channel Tunnel in France with shipment bound for Kent

An Irish truck driver has been arrested after over €6 million worth of cocaine and heroin was found stashed among a shipment of Belgian chocolates.

Robert Wilkin (64), who is originally from Co Tyrone, was questioned by National Crime Agency officers after his truck was stopped at the Coquelles Channel Tunnel terminal near Calais in France on August 12th.

On searching the Polish-registered vehicle, Border Force agents discovered the tape-wrapped packages of drugs hidden in two pallets of chocolates which were destined for a location in Maidstone, Kent.

In total, 63kg of heroin and 32 kg of cocaine were seized, which once cut and adulterated would have been worth more than £5.7 million (€6.6 million) at street level, the officers said on Friday.


Mr Wilkin, with an address at Feenan Highway, Tilbury in Essex, was subsequently charged with attempting to import class A drugs.

He appeared before Folkestone magistrates court on August 14th, where he was bailed to appear before Canterbury Crown Court on September 13th.

"This was a significant seizure of class A drugs of the type we see being distributed by violent and exploitative street gangs and county lines networks," said NCA Branch Commander Martin Grace.

“Working with our law-enforcement partners like Border Force we are determined to do all we can to disrupt and dismantle the organised crime groups involved in bringing these drugs to the UK.”

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard is a reporter with The Irish Times