A Dutch man who set up a fake ambulance company to smuggle huge amounts of heroin and cocaine into Britain has been sentenced to 24 years in prison.

Olof Schoon pleaded guilty last month to conspiring to smuggle drugs with an estimated value of more than 1 billion pounds ($1.5 billion).

He and two accomplices were arrested in June at a parking lot in Smethwick, central England. Police found 10 million pounds ($15 million) worth of cocaine and heroin in secret compartments inside their ambulance.

Detectives say Schoon's International Ambulance Team had made 44 trips to England in the previous 14 months.

Judge Francis Laird sentenced Schoon on Friday for "a highly sophisticated, meticulously planned and well-executed conspiracy involving the importation of Class A drugs on a truly colossal scale."