A man charged after cocaine worth £10million was found concealed in a load of frozen fish at Newhaven Port has appeared in court today.
James Satterley, 50, of Kings Lane, Cookham, Maidenhead, was charged with importing class A drugs following the mammoth discovery last month.
He appeared at Lewes Crown Court today after being remanded in custody.
A spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service confirmed he pleaded not guilty to the charge against him. A trial date has been set for April 27, 2020, at Lewes Crown Court, she said.
The National Crime Agency (NCA) said the drugs were discovered in the rear of a refrigerated van searched by Border Force as it came off a ferry in the early hours of November 23.
According to the NCA, officers recovered 97 packages containing approximately a kilogram of cocaine each.
The drugs were taken away for further analysis, the NCA said, but if cut and sold at street level it is likely the haul would have had a potential value of around £10 million.
An NCA spokesman said: “The driver, 50-year-old James Satterley from Kings Lane, Cookham in Maidenhead, was questioned by NCA officers and charged with importing class A drugs.”
NCA senior investigating officer Paul Morris said: “NCA officers are working alongside Border Force, Sussex Police, Thames Valley Police and the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit to investigate this seizure and the circumstances around it.
“Working with partners we are determined to do all we can to disrupt the organised crime groups involved in the large-scale importation of class A drugs, which fuel serious violence and impact some of the most vulnerable members of our society. Making seizures like this is an important part of that work.”