Boss of international racing team tried to smuggle 50lb of cocaine and heroin

The boss of an international racing team with links to Aston Martin has been jailed for trying to smuggle 50lb of cocaine and heroin worth $7 million into the UK.

Giuseppe Sperlinga, 62, who lives in Belgium, is the boss of GPR Racing – a BRCC Belgian company whose team last year took part in races in Monza, Italy and Barcelona in Spain.

The 62-year-old was jailed for 15 years at Canterbury Crown Court yesterday after admitting two charges of drug smuggling.

He was caught after being stopped by border control as he came off the ferry at Dover in February and tried to enter the UK in his Iveco flatbed truck.

He told officials he was heading to Aston Martin’s Oxfordshire HQ to collect brake discs for his cars.

However, police discovered 48lb of cocaine and 2lb of heroin hidden under the truck’s front seat and he was arrested and charged with charged with importation of drugs.

Sperlinga claimed in court that he committed the offences to counter thefts from his business.

Judge James O’Mahony told him: ‘You are a man of substance, resourceful, intelligent, a businessman and a director of GPR Racing Company.

'That job involves the preparation of top quality cars for motor racing and that involves Aston Martin vehicles and you had substantial dealing with that UK business.'

At the time of his arrest, Border Force South East and Europe director Paul Morgan said: ‘This was a significant seizure of extremely harmful drugs and demonstrates how Border Force officers are at the forefront of the fight to keep illegal drugs and other banned substances out of the UK.

‘We will continue to work hard to keep our borders safe and crack down on drug smuggling.’

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