TWO drug smugglers caught with almost half a tonne of cocaine on board a yacht off the Isle of Wight have been jailed for 42 years.
Tomasz Konrad Dylik and Piotr Ryszard Pachnia were arrested last June after their vessel, Baila, was intercepted by Border Force officers on board HM Cutter Valiant, a Home Office spokesman said.
Dylik pleaded guilty to drugs smuggling charges at Winchester Crown Court in September. Pachnia was convicted by a jury at the same court last Wednesday, following a three-day trial.
Dylik, 48, of Lask Warszawska, was sentenced to 18 and a half years while Pachnia, 33, of Rzeczypospolitej, Gdansk, was sentenced to 24 years at the same court today (Wednesday).
Their boat was intercepted about 10.5 miles south of St Catherine’s Point.
Tim Fleming, from Border Force, said: "This was a significant seizure and the sentences given to Pachnia and Dylik should serve as a stark warning to anyone who attempts to smuggle Class A drugs at the border or within British territorial waters. We will catch you and you will face a long time in jail.
"Our officers are on constant alert to keep drugs and other prohibited items out of the country and we are determined to do all we can to stamp out this evil trade."