A Bromley man involved in a plot to smuggle £1million of cocaine into the UK has been jailed. 

Irnti Rapai, 29, of Liddon Road, acted as lookout as his accomplices Sean Bourke and Salih Saruhan attempted to extract the drugs from a shopping container which had arrived from Costa Rica. 

At around 6pm on February 11 the trio were seen leaving a barber shop in Sheerness, Kent, carrying extendable ladders. 

They walked along the seafront to the port where Rapai took up his position as lookout near the shore. 

Suruham, 32, and Bourke, 35, then used the ladders to scale the port’s fence and made their way to the refrigerated containers which held 10kilos of cocaine, the National Crime Agency (NCA) said. 

News Shopper: The trio were seen walking through the town with extendable laddersThe trio were seen walking through the town with extendable ladders (Image: NCA)

As Suruham and Bourke opened a container Border Force officers who were awaiting their arrival closed in and the pair fled before being detained. 

Rapai was then arrested outside the port in a supermarket car park near his lookout point. 

Individually wrapped blocks of cocaine worth up to £1million were found in the containers and all three men pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs. 

Saruhan, of Broadway in Sheerness, and Bourke, of Minster Road in Sheerness, were jailed for seven-and-a-half-years. Rapai was jailed for six years and seven months. 

News Shopper: From left to right: Salih Saruhan, Sean Bourke, Irnti RapaiFrom left to right: Salih Saruhan, Sean Bourke, Irnti Rapai (Image: NCA)

Adam Berry, NCA Senior Investigating Officer, said: “This operation is a prime example of our ongoing work and commitment to ensure UK ports are impenetrable. 

“Alongside our partners at Border Force and Peel Ports, we are determined to crack down on offenders attempting to exploit our borders. 

“Had Saruhan, Bourke, and Rapai been successful in their operation, the cocaine they smuggled in would have had a destructive impact on our communities. Drugs are closely linked to serious violence throughout the supply chain, as well as firearm and knife crime.  

“The sentences passed down to them should serve as a stark warning to anyone attempting to import drugs onto UK soil.” 

News Shopper: Saruhan and Bourke caught on camera among the shipping containersSaruhan and Bourke caught on camera among the shipping containers (Image: NCA)

Border Force National Operations Director Danny Hewitt, said: “Drugs plague our society, fuelling violence on our streets which our communities are forced to endure. 

“Thanks to the Border Force officers deployed at the Port of Sheerness, these despicable criminals were quickly detected and arrested for attempting to smuggle drugs into the UK.” 

“If you work, live nearby, or are travelling through one of our ports you can play a vital role, by being vigilant and reporting anything that doesn’t look right to an officer or the Coastal Crime Line.”