A father and son have been jailed for 20 years after £20 million of drugs were found at a Great Baddow firm coach service which they used to smuggle drugs from France to Manchester.
Paul Harwood, 61, and Steven Harwood, 36, said that they were taking fishing trips but were in fact bringing drugs to the UK.
They were stopped and searched by police on April 6, 2013, and police found 78 kg of cocaine and 2 kg of heroin with a combined street value of over £15 million.
They used a Great Baddow coach service to take a holiday coach to Orconte Lake in Champagne, where it is thought they purchased the drugs.
Peter Torr, 44, was the coach driver. He told the Essex Chronicle in December that he was shocked to discovered two regular passengers were in fact drug smugglers.
Police caught the pair when they returned from their last fishing trip and were loading their fishing bags into a Ford Transit van.
Detective Superintendent Jason Hudson said: “This father and son from Manchester turned out to be the drug couriers who used to travel to France to import a massive consignment of cocaine.
“They were stopped in Essex on Saturday, April 6, last year having returned from France using a fishing trip as a guise for the travel. They were discovered to have 78kg in cocaine and 2kg in heroin with a street value exceeding £15 million.”
Paul Harwood was jailed for 12 years and Steven Harwood for eight years. 16 other defendants received prison sentences.