A corrupt border officer who helped a gang import £400k worth of drugs met his partner in crime whilst working as a prison officer. 

Portsmouth-based Kevin Smith, 38, was convicted of misconduct in a public office after he was found to have allowed a London-gang to pass through border patrol. 

The plan was foiled after a joint operation between the National Crime Agency's (NCA) Anti-Corruption Unit, The Metropolitan Police and Border Force. 

The NCA put Smith under surveillance and obtained CCTV evidence that he met the leader of the gang, David Johnson a number of times in Portsmouth in the run-up to the smuggling attempt.

Their relationship had started whilst Smith was working as a prison officer where Johnson was serving a sentence for drugs importation.

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

Smith and the rest of the gang were arrested after the vehicle, which had arrived on a ferry from France, was stopped on its way to London. 

Officers found 15 kilos of MDMA worth around £400,000 in the boot. 

The driver, Caprice Thompson, 46, from Brixton was arrested.

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Ringleader Johnson, 51, and another member of the gang, Sinan Baki, 49, both from Clapham were also arrested. 

Further drugs were recovered from their properties. 

Smith was cleared of drug smuggling charges during a trial at Kingston Crown Court that also saw Thompson, 46, from Brixton convicted of the same offence on April 4, 2024.

Johnson pleaded guilty to importing class A drugs, and Baki admitted possessing class A drugs with intent to supply.

On Friday (June 7) Smith was sentenced to two years in prison with Johnson receiving a 12-year jail term.

Baki got eight years, and smuggler Thompson was handed a seven-year sentence.

Dave Rock from the NCA’s Anti-Corruption Unit said: “Fortunately this type of corruption is relatively rare but it does present a real threat to the security of the public, which is why we treat it 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.

“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.”