Friday, 11 March 2016

Romanian Ioan Buciuta is sentenced to 17 years in prison after pleading guilty to importing the Class A drugs to Britain.
14:39, UK,Friday 11 March 2016
Ioan Buciuta court case
A bus driver has been jailed after trying to smuggle cocaine worth up to £18m on a school trip taking Romanian schoolchildren to Britain.
Ioan Buciuta, 53, tried to use the pupils' trip to London as cover to sneak the cocaine through the Port of Dover in Kent.
The Romanian was caught after Border Force officers found around 130 packages wrapped in tape in a specially adapted area behind a false bulkhead in the luggage compartment.
Investigators acting on intelligence from the National Crime Agency (NCA) found a panel covering the drugs had been screwed into place and then covered with carpet.
Ioan Buciuta court case
Buciuta, a courier for a Romanian organised crime gang, was arrested on 6 June last year and the schoolchildren travelled on to their hotel in taxis.
He later pleaded guilty to importing the Class A drug and has been sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court to 17 years in prison.
Matt Rivers, of the NCA's Dover border investigation team, said they had caused "major disruption" to the organised crime gang.
He said: "Ioan Buciuta was a trusted courier, comfortable with the task of carrying millions of pounds of Class A drugs across a continent.
"The fact he was happy to do so using the cover of a children's school trip shows how cynical his criminal organisation is." 
Ioan's brother, Gheorghe Buciuta, 36, was cleared of importation charges in connection with the same seizure following a trial last November.