Food brought into country illegally found at DIRFT

The food found in a van at DIRFT
The food found in a van at DIRFT

Dozens of boxes of food 
illegally brought into the country from Eastern Europe have been seized by environmental health officers at DIRFT.

The items were discovered in the back of a van stopped at the Crick weighbridge off Junction 18 of the M1 during an operation involving the police, national agencies and Daventry District Council (DDC).

A total of 200kg of food including cheese, meat, fish, honey and apples were confiscated from the van.

It has now been incinerated after no health certificates could be provided to prove they had been produced or imported in line with EU requirements. The van was stopped as part of Operation Trivium III – an enforcement exercise aimed at overseas drivers which involved numerous agencies.

The vehicle and its contents had not been inspected or declared at UK customs in Dover or at any other border crossing on its journey from Eastern Europe.

It was heading to Dublin.

As no paperwork could be provided to show that the food had been produced or imported in line with EU law, food could have posed a health risk.

The driver and co-driver from Moldova – which is not in the EU – were fined £500 for driving licence and insurance irregularities.

Speaking after the discovery at DIRFT, DDCs health and housing portfolio holder Cllr Mike Warren said: “Diseases such as foot and mouth disease and bird flu can be brought into this country via meat products, while fruit and vegetables may carry pests that can infect plants and vegetables in the UK.

“This can have a devastating effect on livestock, crops and the environment so this is a very pleasing result and a credit to the hard work and diligence of the officers.”