Kawasaki World Superbike team boss denies drug smuggling

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The boss of Kawasaki's World Superbike squad says drugs, gun and ammunition found in his race transporter lorry were planted by a drugs gang.

Paul Bird, owner of Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM), exclusively tells MCN (out this Wednesday) that he believes the gang were using his truck to smuggle contraband back into the UK, as the team returned from the Assen World Superbike round last month.

Based on a tip-off from the UK Border Agency, the Daily Telegraph claims 8kg of cocaine (with a street value of £350,000), 71kg of amphetamine tablets, more than 100kg of cannabis, a handgun and 35 rounds of ammunition were found in the truck, with no attempt made to conceal them.

The UK Border Agency confirmed that two PBM lorries were searched as they passed through Dover Eastern Docks last month and that quantities of class A drugs, class B drugs and a handgun were discovered.

Customs also said that four men – believed to be Paul Bird Motorsport drivers and mechanics – were arrested on suspicion of the importation of controlled drugs and firearm offences. They were questioned and later released on bail pending further enquiries.

Read the full exclusive interview with Paul Bird in MCN this week, out Wednesday May 4.

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John Westlake

By John Westlake