A MAN has been charged after cocaine worth an estimated street value of £1.5million was found hidden within the walls of a van.

Border Force officers seized about 19 kilos of cocaine after stopping a Dutch registered van arriving at Harwich International Port from the Hook of Holland on Monday, June 22.

When officers searched the van they found anomalies within the vehicle’s side panels and further examination found a series of packages containing the drugs.

The investigation was referred to the National Crime Agency (NCA).

Dutch national Reindert Jan Randwijk, 40, of no fixed UK address, was charged with being knowingly concerned in the importation of 19 kilos of Class A drugs.

He appeared at Southend Magistrates Court on Tuesday, June 23 and will remain in custody until his next appearance at Chelmsford Crown Court on July 21.

Chris Philp, Minister for Immigration Compliance and the Courts, said: “This was an excellent seizure and has prevented a significant amount of lethal Class A drugs from reaching the UK’s streets.

“Working with our partners at the NCA we will continue to do all we can to arrest and prosecute those involved in drug smuggling.”

Border Force officers use hi-tech search equipment to combat immigration crime and detect banned and restricted goods that smugglers attempt to bring into the country.