Father used children as cover when he tried to smuggle heroin into UK

Father, 42, used his three children aged one to six as cover when he tried to smuggle £2m of heroin into UK in a camper van

  • Michael Sloan, from Ormskirk, Lancashire was stopped at docks in Dover in 2019
  • He claimed to be driving his partner and three children home after Germany trip 
  • However, suspicious officers discovered 20kg of heroin stashed in camper van 
  • Sloan pleaded guilty to smuggling Class A drugs at a hearing at Canterbury Crown Court and was sentenced to six years and four months in prison 

A father has been jailed after he tried to use his three children as cover for an international £2m heroin smuggling plot.

Michael Sloan, 42, from Ormskirk, Lancashire was stopped as he drove his partner and three children – aged between one and six – through Dover Eastern Docks in December 2019.  

He told Border Force officers they were driving back from a family holiday to see German Christmas markets in the German city of Cologne. 

But suspicious officers brought in a drug detection dog who discovered 20kgs of heroin in a secret compartment. 

Michael Sloan told Border Force officers he was driving back from a family holiday to see German Christmas markets

But suspicious officers brought in a drug detection dog who discovered 20kgs of heroin in a secret compartment

The Class A drugs were hidden in a specially-built compartment in the back of the Volkswagen van. 

The purity of the heroin was found to be between 44% and 59% and, once adulterated, would have had a street value of £1.98m.

The discovery of the drugs led to the National Crime Agency’s involvement and investigators identified that the compartment the drugs were hidden in had been built into the van after Sloan had bought it.

Yesterday, Sloan pleaded guilty to smuggling Class A drugs at a hearing at Canterbury Crown Court and was sentenced to six years and four months in prison.

The Class A drugs were hidden in a specially-built compartment in the back of the Volkswagen van

NCA Branch Commander Mark Howes said: ‘This was a cynical attempt to bring dangerous class A drugs into the UK, which saw Sloan use his partner and young children as cover for his drug smuggling exploits.

‘I’ve no doubt that the concealment in the van was built specifically for the purpose of smuggling, and that Sloan thought that travelling with his family would make it less likely they would be stopped.

‘Heroin is closely linked to county lines type exploitation and violence, which is why we are working closely with partners like Border Force to target those trying to bring it in.’

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