Drug smuggler saddled with £217k confiscation order

A Dutchman jailed for 17 years after attempting to smuggle cocaine into the UK hidden in a horsebox has been ordered to hand over £217,000.

Marinus Van GerwenMarinus Van Gerwen, aged 54, was given 28 days to pay or face a further two years in prison.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) investigation started when officers stopped Van Gerwen as he arrived at Dover Eastern Docks driving a horsebox on 13 July 2017.

Fifty one kilo blocks of cocaine were found hidden in a purpose-built concealment in the wall of the horsebox. The cocaine had an estimated street value of £3.96 million.

There were also two horses in the back which were collected by a horse transportation company and taken to a vet.

HorseboxVan Gerwen denied all knowledge of the drugs and claimed the purpose of his journey was to deliver the horses to a female associate in Binfield, Bracknell.

Following his arrest, Dutch Police raided Van Gerwen’s house in Limbricht, Netherlands, and seized €270,000 in cash. His benefit figure was calculated from this cash, and excluded the money which was found to not belong to him.