A BASINGSTOKE-based police team have been lauded following the sentencing of a man who was found with more than 42 kilograms of cannabis in a specially adapted van.

It was Basingstoke’s Drug Related Harm Team that successfully seized £425,000 worth of cannabis from a van on Kingsclere Road on July 30.

The van’s driver Andrew King of Bridge Way, Witton, Twickenham was handed a four-and-half-year prison sentence at Winchester Crown Court on Friday for being concerned in the supply of the Class B drug.

The court heard how police stopped King on on July 30 after they received intelligence.

Following the sentencing, police called the case “a great result” and added that the interception has taken a large amount of drugs off our streets.

Detective Sergeant Tim Judd, who was part of the investigation, said: “This is a great result that has taken a large amount of drugs off our streets and helped to protect people from drug-related harm.

“The investigation was launched following an excellent proactive stop carried out by officers from Basingstoke’s Drug Related Harm Team.

“It enabled investigators from the Criminal Investigation Department to build a case against a man involved in the supply of a significant quantity of controlled drugs.”

Officers found 600 grams of cannabis resin and 42.5 kilograms of ‘skunk' cannabis, which had been vacuum packed to mask the smell.

Detective Sergeant Judd added: “The successful investigation resulted in the seizure of more than £29,000 in cash and the destruction of a large amount of cannabis, which had the street value of £425,000.

“There is an undeniable link between drugs and violence and that is why disrupting drugs supply networks is a crucial part of our work.

“We are committed and doing everything we can to tackle drugs and associated crime to keep our communities safe.

“I hope this sentence acts as a warning to anyone considering becoming involved in the supply of drugs – it will not be tolerated.”