'CORRUPTION AT THE DOCKS' Four workers charged over drug imports after probe into Portsmouth docks


A 44-YEAR-old man has become the fourth Portsmouth dock worker to be charged with drug importation offences.

David Stuart Oliver, of Cornwall Road, Fratton, was arrested by National Crime Agency (NCA) officers at his place of work on June 8.

After being questioned by investigators he was charged with conspiring to import class A drugs overnight and appeared before Portsmouth Magistrates' Court on June 9.

Oliver was remanded in custody until his next appearance at Portsmouth Crown Court later this month.

His arrest is the result of an NCA investigation triggered by the seizure of 1.5 tonnes of cocaine in the Netherlands in April.

It has already seen three people appear in court charged with importation offences. They are due in court again in July.

Michael Jordan, 44, of London Road, Portsmouth, was detained by NCA officers at his home address on Tuesday, May 10. After being questioned by investigators he was charged with conspiring to import class A drugs last night and appeared before Portsmouth Magistrates on May 12, when the case was transferred to crown court. The arrest follows an NCA investigation into alleged corrupt activity at the port which has already seen two people charged with the same offence. Michael Butcher, age 65, from Victory Avenue, Waterlooville, and Clayton Harwood, age 55 from St Davids Road, Southsea, were arrested on April 30, charged and have also appeared in court.

They are next due before Portsmouth Crown Court on 30 May.

NCA Senior Investigating Officer Adrian Barnard said: “We know that criminal gangs target insiders within ports and airports for their knowledge and access. “While it is rare, when it happens it represents a disproportionately large threat, which is why it is such a focus for the NCA and our partners in law enforcement and the private sector. “Investigations are ongoing so it would not be appropriate to comment further at this stage.”