Cocaine hidden under Dales bus

Police have praised a Dales bus firm after its staff foiled a plot to smuggle one kilogram of cocaine into the country.

On March 8, a coach left Andrews Coaches, Tideswell, and took a group of university students to Amsterdam

When the coach returned a mechanic carried out a maintenance check on the coach and discovered a magnetic metal box attached to the underside of the bus.

The firm immediately called police and officers discovered the box contained a tracking device and cocaine.

Officers were stationed near the firm’s Tideswell depot and in the early hours of the next morning, they saw two men enter the yard and look under the coach. Paul Batchelor (27), of Domonic Drive, London, and Giles Rudd (31) of Tylers Green Road, Kent, were arrested.

Both pleaded guilty to importing cocaine. Batchelor was given five years and four months while Rudd was handed a four year sentence. DI Shaun McElheron said: “This was a sophisticated plan to smuggle drugs into the country which may have gone undetected if it hadn’t been for the vigilance of staff at the coach firm.”