The sleepy town of Marlow was embroiled in £17m cocaine smuggling ring, a court has heard.

A gang of twelve were jailed after they rented a number of properties across the south of England, including a cottage owned by actress Miriam Margolyes in Dover.

They used these homes as a helicopter drop-off point for millions of pounds of cocaine which had been flown in from the continent.

The gang supplied an organised crime group with approximately 500kg of Class A drugs, which were brought to the country by two Dutch pilots. These had an estimated wholesale value of £17m.

Pilots made drop offs to a cottage in Marlow, Kent, Waltham Abbey and ‘Gun Emplacement Cottage’ on the White Cliffs of Dover which was rented from the Harry Potter actress.

There isn’t any suggestions that Mrs Margolyes knew about the gang’s activities.

The gang’s ringleader, Lance Kennedy, was extradited to face justice along with fellow gang member Robert Stewart, who had been caught trying to enter the Ukraine from Moldova.

Mr Kennedy received a sentence of 18 years and four months after admitting conspiracy to supply drugs. Stewart was given a prison sentence of 13 years and eight months after pleading guilty to the same offence.

Other gang members received sentences for conspiracy to supply, ranging from 14 years three months to eight years eight months.