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£500,000 cocaine haul found in van stopped by Cambridgeshire police

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A drug dealer who tried to hide half-a-million pounds’ worth of cocaine in a secret compartment in his van, has been jailed.

Nicholas Zialor, 35, of North Avenue, Southend-on-Sea, was jailed for five-and-a-half years on Wednesday (9 November), following an investigation by the ERSOU Regional Organised Crime Unit.

Zialor was arrested in May after his van was stopped by ERSOU and Cambridgeshire Constabulary officers between Junctions 10 and 11 of the M11, near Duxford in Cambridgeshire.

ERSOU’s specialist officers searched the van and discovered a hydraulic hide under the floor behind the front seats.

Drug experts estimate that, had the cocaine been split into gram-sized deal portions and sold, it would have had a street value of between £400,000 and £500,000.

Within the hide were five packages, which were later confirmed to be kilogramme-sized blocks of cocaine.

The hydraulic system within the hidden compartment was operated electronically by a fob, which was found in Zialor’s pocket.

Drug experts estimate that, had the cocaine been split into gram-sized deal portions and sold, it would have had a street value of between £400,000 and £500,000.

Zialor was subsequently charged with possession with intent to supply cocaine, to which he later pleaded guilty.

Drug experts estimate that, had the cocaine been split into gram-sized deal portions and sold, it would have had a street value of between £400,000 and £500,000.

Detective Inspector Dave Skarratts said: “There is no doubt that Zialor had gone to great lengths to cover up his illicit activities and it’s clear he was involved in moving substantial amounts of class A drugs.

“At ERSOU we have a number of specially trained detectives who are experts in the practices of drug dealers, and we use a variety of tactics to ensure that these criminals are stopped.

“Drug dealing has a huge impact across our communities and is directly linked to a wide range of other criminality, from gang violence and exploitation to burglary and robbery.

“That’s why we will continue to target those looking to bring these dangerous substances into our region and will do whatever we can to apprehend them.”

 

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