Border Force official jailed for aiding drug smugglers

Kevin Smith gets two years in prison after waving 15kg of MDMA through ferry terminal
Kingston Crown Court Photo: Google Maps

By Jim Dunton

12 Jun 2024

A corrupt Border Force official has been jailed for two years for helping a London-based crime gang smuggle a £400,000 consignment of class-A drugs into the country.

Kevin Smith was detained at work in Portsmouth by officers from the National Crime Agency's Anti-Corruption Unit on 26 August last year.

Earlier in the day, he had waved a rental car containing 15kg of MDMA through his booth at the ferry port. Metropolitan Police officers stopped the vehicle, which had arrived from France, as it headed towards London.

Smith, aged 38, of Mayfield Road, Portsmouth, admitted a charge of misconduct in a public office. He was cleared of drug-smuggling charges during a trial at Kingston Crown Court that concluded in April.

Caprice Thompson, aged 46, of Brixton, was found guilty of conspiracy to import class-A drugs. Fifty-one-year-old David Johnson, of Clapham, pleaded guilty to charges including conspiracy to import class-A drugs. Sinan Baki, aged 49, of Clapham, admitted supplying class-A drugs but was found not guilty of conspiracy to import them.

In addition to Smith's two-year term, a judge at Kingston Crown Court sentenced gang ringleader Johnson to 12 years' imprisonment. Baki was handed an eight-year sentence; driver Thompson was jailed for seven years.

Dave Rock, of the NCA’s Anti-Corruption Unit, said corruption among Border Force officials presents "a real threat" to public security and is treated as a priority.

"People like Kevin Smith are invaluable to organised crime groups, as they can use their access and knowledge to aid their criminal endeavours," he said.

A headshot of Kevin Smith
Kevin Smith, the Border Force official who has been jailed for two years for helping drug smugglers

"This operation demonstrated the excellent co-operation between the NCA, Met Police and Border Force, who worked together to stop this gang in their tracks and prevent class-A drugs reaching the streets."

Kingston Crown Court heard that Smith and Johnson had first met when Smith was a prison officer and Johnson was in jail serving a sentence for a previous drugs-importation conviction.

Metropolitan Police investigations into the crime group revealed that a corrupt insider was in contact with Johnson and the NCA was brought onto the case.

The NCA put Smith under surveillance and obtained CCTV evidence of a number of face-to-face meetings in Portsmouth between Smith and Johnson in the run-up to the August 2023 smuggling attempt.

Following Smith’s arrest, NCA officers also recovered a mobile phone that he had used to exchange encrypted messages with Johnson.

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