Superbike team transporters 'found to contain drugs'
Lorries belonging to a team taking part in the Superbike World Championship were detained at Dover last month after arriving by road and ferry from Italy.
On board the Kawasaki Racing Team trucks, officers allegedly discovered 18lbs (8kg) of cocaine, 157lbs (71kg) of amphetamine tablets and more than 220lbs (100kg) of cannabis – as well as a handgun and 35 rounds of ammunition, left lying on a table inside one vehicle.
It is claimed that no attempt had been made to conceal the weapon or the drugs.
A UKBA source said: "Our intelligence analysts will be looking much more closely at motorsport vehicles from now on, including Superbikes and even Formula One.
"They have been pulled over very rarely and that will now change."
Four technicians from Paul Bird Motorsport, based in Morecambe, Lancashire – the company which runs the Kawasaki team – were arrested on suspicion of firearms offences and importing controlled drugs. They were later bailed.
They were Philip Roe, 40, a mechanic and truck driver with the team; Gary Matthews, 50, a truck driver and tire technician; Mattia Fontana, 27, an Italian mechanic; and Daniel Swyer, 32, who is also a mechanic.
A UK Border Agency spokesman said: "Two lorries were searched by UK Border Agency officers as they passed through Dover Eastern Docks. Quantities of Class A drugs, Class B drugs and a handgun were discovered.
"Four men, aged 50, 40, 32 and 27 were arrested on suspicion of the importation of controlled drugs and firearm offences. They were questioned and later released on bail pending further enquiries." The Telegraph