Dutch ambulance drug smugglers get decades in prison

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A court in Birmingham, England sentenced three out of four Dutch men to a combined 70 years in prison for their roles in smuggling more than 2 billion euros in cocaine and heroin into England using second-hand ambulances, itv news reports.

The Dutch trio, Olof Schoon, Leonardus Bijlsma and Richard Engelsbel, pretended to be paramedics transporting patients on crutches and for 14 months they smuggled hard drugs from the Netherlands to Britain. The drugs were hidden behind secret riveted panels in the ambulances. They were convicted earlier this year and sentenced on Friday.

Bijlsma, 55, is the only one to keep insisting that he did not know about the drugs. He was sentenced to 28 years in prison. The other two admitted to their parts in the drug smuggling scheme. Schoon, 38, was given 24 years in prison and 51 year old Engelsbel was sentenced to 18 years.