Man arrested amid probe into £19m cocaine haul on bus

A man has been arrested amid an investigation into the discovery of almost a quarter of a tonne of cocaine on a bus last year.

The drugs were discovered in September last year and would have been worth around £19.4 million if sold on UK streets.

The 45-year-old, who is from Irvine in North Ayrshire, was detained as he stepped off a flight from Spain at Glasgow Prestwick Airport on Saturday.

He was taken to Carlisle police station where he was questioned by officials, before being released under investigation.

He is the third man to be arrested in the ongoing investigation.

Two men from the north west of England have been jailed in connection with the drug findings for a combined total of more than 30 years.

Driver Christopher Bullows, from St Helens, and his passenger Mark Tucker, from Blackburn, were arrested after their coach was stopped at Dover Docks in September 2020.

A search by Border Force uncovered the cocaine hidden in a specially constructed wastewater tank.

Drugs bust operation in Dover
The drugs would have had a street value of almost £20 million had they been sold in the UK (National Crime Agency)

In July this year, Tucker was jailed for 16 years and Bullows for 14 years and four months at Canterbury Crown Court.

National Crime Agency (NCA) branch commander Mark McCormack said: “This was a significant amount of cocaine and our investigation into this smuggling attempt continues.

“Drugs fuel violence and exploitation in our communities, and those involved in smuggling into the UK play a key role in that chain of criminality.

“We will do all we can to disrupt and dismantle the organised crime groups involved.”