Four charged over £40m of cocaine found in village pub car park

The cocaine haul found in the back of a Vauxhall Vivaro in Lelley, East Yorkshire
The cocaine haul found in the back of a Vauxhall Vivaro in Lelley, East Yorkshire - National Crime Agency/PA

Four men have been charged after cocaine with a potential street value of around £40 million was found in a van in a village pub car park.

About 500kg of the drug was seized from the back of a van in the car park in Lelley, East Yorks, the National Crime Agency (NCA) said.

Investigators from the NCA found half a ton of the class A drug in a Vauxhall Vivaro van in the car park of the Stags Head Inn on Saturday.

It is believed that the drugs had been transferred from a larger vessel sailing off the coast of Hull using an inflatable boat a few hours earlier.

The smaller boat was found abandoned on rocks at Easington Beach.

Three Scottish men, Anthony McAllister, 32, of Taynuilt, Daniel Livingstone, 24, of Campbeltown, and Mark Moran, 22, of Ardrishaig, have been charged with the importation of class A drugs.

Didier Javier Tordecilla Reyes, 39, a Colombian national of no fixed abode, faces the same charge.

The men were arrested on Saturday in connection with the investigation. They are expected to appear at Hull magistrates’ court in due course.

Alan French, an NCA senior investigating officer, said: “This was a significant amount of cocaine and its seizure will be a sizeable blow to the organised crime group which attempted to smuggle it into the UK.

‘We are determined to disrupt criminal activity’

“There’s no doubt these drugs would have been sold into communities around the UK, fuelling further crime and exploitation.

“Working with our law enforcement partners we are determined to do all we can to disrupt criminal activity, and protect the UK’s border security.

“Our investigation continues following these arrests.”

The NCA operation was supported by Humberside Police, the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Organised Crime Unit and UK Border Force.

In February, £450 million worth of cocaine was discovered at Southampton port in a container of bananas. It was the largest-ever seizure of Class A drugs in the UK.

The 5.7 tons which was found exceeded the previous record of 3.7 tons found at the same port in 2022 and 3.2 tons found on board the tugboat MV Hamal in Scotland in 2015.