Man jailed for smuggling drugs inside a piano

03 May 2024
By Ellie Palmer
£4.2m worth of cocaine was found stashed in the back of an upright acoustic piano

Yes, you read that right.

A man from Salford has been convicted of smuggling £4.2m worth of cocaine into the UK by hiding it in the back of a piano.

Francesco Role, a furniture mover, was stopped in his van by Border Force officials at Newhaven Port, East Sussex, on Monday 6 November 2023 on his way back from Normandy. 

Police searched the van and found nothing out of the norm at first glance; a bed, two chairs, a cupboard, and several cardboard boxes. But after closer inspection, they discovered an upright acoustic piano hidden under a blanket. 

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© Greater Manchester Police


The back of the piano was subsequently removed revealing 89 wrapped blocks of cocaine. Role was immediately arrested and a investigation was opened. The driver was then jailed for 13 years and six months, on Friday 12 April.