“He went to Rotterdam for less than one day at a great expense."
Car dealer Abdullah Iqbal, aged 33, of Liverpool, was jailed for nine years after he was caught smuggling £1 million of cocaine.
Canterbury Crown Court heard the drugs were stashed behind his car’s bumpers.
Iqbal drove the haul onto a ferry in Coquelles, France before Border Force Officers stopped his Subaru Impreza at the UK Control Zone.
Staff became suspicious when Iqbal said he had returned from a day-and-a-half trip from Germany’s Nurburgring race track by himself.
His car was searched and several packages wrapped in silver tape were found behind his front and rear bumpers.
In total, 14 kilograms of 70% pure cocaine was found. They had an estimated street value of £1.1 million.
However, Iqbal denied any knowledge of the drugs, bound for Folkestone. It was heard he bought the car, passport and Eurotunnel ticket just days before his arrest on September 11, 2017.
Iqbal was released on bail after saying his car was out of his eyesight on several occasions while visiting the motorsports complex.
But during the investigation, the NCA contacted Subaru who confirmed that the areas behind the bumpers were not standard and had purposefully been fitted.
Investigators also found that Iqbal had in-fact drove to Rotterdam, Netherlands.
Phone records showed that Iqbal had taken pictures of Rotterdam’s Jack’s Casino and Campanile Hotel.
There was also no evidence that Iqbal visited Nurburgring, check-in details or pictures of the car among the thousands of professional photos taken that day.
However, Nina Ellin, prosecuting, said that the racetrack does not keep logs of every driver and car that visits.
She added that a 10-hour journey from Calais to Nurburg, West Germany, along with the racetrack’s opening times, would have been impossible.
Miss Ellin stated: “This is all Rotterdam and not Germany at all.
“He went to Rotterdam for less than one day at a great expense. What was he doing there?”
The car dealer gave no comment and claimed he lost his passport after being invited for a second interview two years later.
Kent Online reported that following a trial, Iqbal was found guilty of importing a class A drug.
Iqbal’s barrister said that naivety had led to his client’s drug smuggling attempt.
“He is the primary carer for his two children.
“Of course as Your Honour knows those who suffer the most when someone serves a period in prison is someone else.
“It is a sad fact that his family will suffer.”
Recorder John Bate-Williams told the car dealer: “As you will know from the outset only a prison sentence is justified.
“And I intend to pass a prison sentence to mark how disgusting this offence is. That is a nine-year sentence.”
Martin Grace, NCA Branch Commander, said:
“The profit to be made from drugs means criminals like Iqbal are willing to go the extra mile to smuggle cocaine into the country.”
“Trading class A drugs is always linked to some level of violence, exploitation and serious organised crime, and the gangs behind it rely on smugglers like Iqbal.
“But by working with partners like Border Force we are determined to do all we can to stop them and disrupt their networks.”
David Smith, Border Force director, added:
“Detections like this show the challenges that Border Force officers rise to every day.
“It was officers’ expertise and attention to detail – recognising an apparent irregularity with the bumpers – that has resulted in a significant quantity of cocaine being taken out of circulation.”