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Drug traffickers jailed for smuggling $32million cocaine haul in yams

City of London News Stream by Cityam - Fri, 02/26/2021 - 16:15

Two men were sentenced to 36 years combined in prison today for their attempt to smuggle cocaine worth £32m into the UK in 2016.

A National Crime Agency (NCA) investigation found that Juan David Perea Lopez, 26, of New Cross, London, and Bashar Fares Al-Safee, 31, from North Kensington, London, arranged to import 400kg of cocaine hidden in a shipment of yams from Costa Rica.

On 4 June 2016 NCA and Border Force officers examined a refrigerated container that had been shipped from Costa Rica to a port in Essex, due to be delivered to an industrial estate in North West London.

The container held boxes of yams, but the officers discovered many boxes had false bottoms that were being used to conceal compressed blocks of cocaine powder.

Read more: Dutch customs seize largest-ever heroin haul hidden in Himalayan salt containers

The drugs were found to be 61-68 per cent pure, and had been adulterated with Levamisole. Levamisole is typically used to de-worm livestock, but drug suppliers commonly add it to cocaine to increase volume and profits.

NCA officers arrested Lopez and Al-Safee after they had unloaded the containers. Both men were charged with ne count of conspiracy to import class A drugs, and one count of conspiracy to supply class A drugs.

The men were sentenced today at Southwark Crown Court, with Al-Safee sentenced to 21 years in prison, and Lopez to 15 years, and were found guilty yesterday following a seven-week trial.

The NCA investigation found Lopez had leased the industrial unit where the goods were delivered by pretending to work as an assistant to a Saudi Arabian Sheikh who needed the space to store high value cars.

Al-Safee had high-jacked the identity of a real fruit import business and set up false e-mail addresses and a virtual office.

Read more: Will London’s budding cannabis market turn the EU green with envy?

The company that sent the yams was investigated by Costa Rican authorities, resulting in the arrest of one of the directors and a seizure of one tonne of cocaine from a fruit packing plant.

Regional Head of Investigations at the NCA, Jacque Beer, said: “This seizure and the investigation that followed has kept a huge quantity of cocaine off UK streets, and brought traffickers to account in the UK and Central America.”

“Working with partners like Border Force and law enforcement colleagues around the world, the NCA is determined to protect the public from the impact of class A drug trafficking, and to pursue those behind it,” he added.

The post Drug traffickers jailed for smuggling $32million cocaine haul in yams appeared first on CityAM.

Categories: City of London

St Neots house fire: Two children died from smoke inhalation

BBC Camberidgeshire Feed - Fri, 02/26/2021 - 16:14
Fire crews described at the time how they tried to find the children inside the burning house.
Categories: Cambridgeshire

Hartlepool Mayor launches special awards

Hartlepool Council - Fri, 02/26/2021 - 16:08
The Ceremonial Mayor of Hartlepool has launched a new award scheme to recognise those who have made a difference during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Categories: Hartlepool

Liverpool city mayor election: Stephen Yip to run as independent

Merseyside BBC News Feed - Fri, 02/26/2021 - 16:06
Charity founder Stephen Yip says he will stand for Liverpool city mayor as an independent candidate.
Categories: Merseyside

Northampton human bones discovery 'not suspicious'

BBC Northamptonshire - Fri, 02/26/2021 - 16:06
Archaeologists and forensics have analysed the bones, which were found at the start of the month.
Categories: Northamptonshire

New Blackpool ambulance HQ will see four other bases close

BBC Lancashire - Fri, 02/26/2021 - 16:05
North West Ambulance Service is moving to a system of focusing on more ambulances out on the road.
Categories: Lancashire

Queer House Party: The lockdown Zoom event bringing the LGBQT+ community together

BBC London News Feed - Fri, 02/26/2021 - 16:00
Harry Gay and his flatmates have been holding online parties for LGBTQ+ people since March 2020.

Coronavirus: Sadiq Khan ends London's Covid 'major incident'

BBC London News Feed - Fri, 02/26/2021 - 15:55
Londoners have been urged to remain on "high alert" as there are still thousands in hospital with Covid.

Nominations sought for Civic Honours

Hartlepool Council - Fri, 02/26/2021 - 15:44
Hartlepool Borough Council is seeking nominations for either individuals or organisations to be granted a historic title.
Categories: Hartlepool

HS2 protest: Final activist removed from Euston tunnel

BBC London News Feed - Fri, 02/26/2021 - 15:42
The activist is the ninth person to be removed from the tunnel near Euston station.

Covid-19: Birmingham's ethnic 'disparities' over jab in focus

BBC Birmingham News Feeds - Fri, 02/26/2021 - 15:39
The 645 volunteers in Birmingham are working to address low vaccine take up and misinformation.
Categories: Birmingham

Man jailed for six years for Bournemouth car park one-punch death

Dorset BBC News Feed - Fri, 02/26/2021 - 15:37
Stephen Jeffries was found in a car park with a life-threatening head injury.
Categories: Dorset

Six Nations 2021: Wales v England - Courtney Lawes out for rest of tournament

BBC Northamptonshire - Fri, 02/26/2021 - 15:36
England forward Courtney Lawes will be unavailable for the rest of the Six Nations because of a pectoral injury.
Categories: Northamptonshire

Parents campaign to save Stroud primary school

BBC Gloucestershire - Fri, 02/26/2021 - 15:36
The trust running the school in Stroud says only 30 pupils are enrolled leaving 180 places unfilled.
Categories: Gloucestershire

Covid vaccine: Man denies sending Wrexham plant suspect package

BBC Kent - Fri, 02/26/2021 - 15:31
Anthony Collins, 53, of Chatham, denies sending a suspect package to the Wrexham plant in January.
Categories: Kent

Misspelled No Entry road sign: Essex council sees funny side

BBC Essex - Fri, 02/26/2021 - 15:27
"Someone is having a worse day than you" jokes a council after 'No Enry' is painted on a road.
Categories: Essex

Avon and Somerset Police fail to prove racism claims

Somerset BBC News Feed - Fri, 02/26/2021 - 15:25
Avon and Somerset Police failed to prove a new recruit made racist comments, the panel rules.
Categories: Somerset

Sheffield United v Liverpool

Merseyside BBC News Feed - Fri, 02/26/2021 - 15:22
Preview followed by live coverage of Sunday's Premier League game between Sheffield United and Liverpool.
Categories: Merseyside