September 25, 2022


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Co Derry lorry driver jailed over £5m cocaine smuggling racket

James Joseph Grey is considered one of three males jailed for attempting to smuggle £5.5m value of cocaine

That is the Co Derry man jailed for over 5 years for attempting to smuggle greater than £5m of cocaine into the Republic.

James Joseph Grey has been sentenced together with accomplices Moynul Hoque and Usman Iqbal after he was caught with 69kg of the drug in his lorry.

The Draperstown man was arrested at Holyhead port in Wales on October 9, 2020, after his car was chosen for a random inspection by Border Power Officers.

Caernarfon Crown Courtroom heard that Grey (53) was noticeably anxious and was seen discarding a cell phone after the lorry was referred to as in for examination.

Grey, who was ready for a ferry to Dublin, then instructed the officers “there are 4 brown containers in there that I didn’t put there”.

A Crown barrister instructed the court docket the lorry was laden with “perishable items” destined for a significant grocery store.

When the officers opened the containers they requested Grey what was inside however he claimed he didn’t know.

The barrister mentioned they contained 69 packages of cocaine, weighing one kilogram every, with a purity of between 78 and 83 per cent.

A field of cocaine present in Grey’s lorry at Holyhead port

This gave it a wholesale worth of £2.6m and a avenue worth of £5.5m, he instructed the court docket.

A Nokia cell phone recovered helped officers monitor down Hoque (32) and Iqbal (36) who have been additionally seen on CCTV at a Travelodge in Bristol the place the medication handover happened.

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They have been additionally linked to the conspiracy as Hoque had employed a automotive to journey to Bristol which had a monitoring machine and booked the room within the lodge utilizing his personal identify and bank card.

Their actions matched with the phone calls and messages between them and Grey, the court docket was instructed.

Data from the lorry’s refrigeration unit confirmed Grey had stopped and opened the doorways twice to maneuver the packages from the cab of the unit into the trailer.

Throughout police interview, Grey mentioned he thought the packages have been tobacco, whereas Hoque and Iqbal denied any information of the plot.

All three had been because of stand trial however in December all of them pleaded responsible to a single cost of exporting a Class A drug.

Grey’s barrister mentioned he was seemingly appearing underneath the route of “shadowy figures overseas” and he clearly had no concept what was truly within the packages as he dealt with the duty “so sloppily”.

Nevertheless, he instructed Decide Nicola Scaffman that he now absolutely accepts his guilt and that he solely acquired concerned as he was in debt because of tax issues and was “trying simple cash”.

The barrister mentioned he had 22 references from individuals who knew him and beforehand had been “dwelling a really quiet life in Draperstown”.

He added that Grey had been in jail on remand for the final 18 months and had not acquired any visits from buddies or household.

In a letter from Grey learn to the court docket he mentioned he was “glad the medication by no means discovered their manner onto the streets”.

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A defence barrister mentioned Iqbal, of Bradliegh Avenue in Essex, confirmed a “nice deal of regret”.

However added there was no DNA or fingerprint proof on the containers of cocaine from Iqbal or Hoque and so they have been seemingly put there by an Albanian who is until sought by the Nationwide Crime Company.

Pictured left to proper, James Joseph Grey, Moynul Hoque and Usman Iqbal admitted exporting 69kg of cocaine

A barrister for Hoque, of Lockdown Home in London, mentioned the offending was “out of character” and that he was not because of “profit drastically” ought to the plot have gone to plan.

Sentencing the trio, Decide Scaffman instructed them they have been in “manner over their heads”.

She added that the Border Power and Nationwide Crime Company have been to be recommended for intercepting the medication.

Grey, Hoque and Iqbal have been every sentenced to 5 years and 7 months in jail, half of which they may serve in custody and half on licence.

Co Derry lorry driver jailed over £5m cocaine smuggling racket was final modified: Could eleventh, 2022 by cassoscoop