Search

Suffolk £34m cocaine haul hidden in consignment of pineapples

08:59 19 July 2012

Trial begins over alleged £34m cocaine haul

Trial begins over alleged £34m cocaine haul

copyright of Archant © 2010 01603 772434

A consignment of pineapples was a front for a £34million cocaine smuggling operation, a court has heard.

Police swooped on a Brandon industrial unit last October and uncovered what is believed to be Suffolk’s largest police haul of Class A drugs.

Terrance Smith, 57, and Frederick Colverson, 56, were arrested and later charged with conspiring to supply cocaine.

Smith, of Ethelreda Drive, Thetford, pleaded guilty on July 6 but Colverson, of Galsworthy Avenue, London, denied the charge and his trial began at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday. David Holborn, prosecuting, said police had watched a lorry arrive in Highbury Road, Brandon, on October 31 and heard animated reactions as the cargo was opened.

“Somebody was very excited about what he’d received,” Mr Holborn added.

Officers raided the lorry and found 174kg of cocaine – with a street value of £34m – concealed in the bottom of the fruit boxes.

Mr Holborn said the swoop was made at the premises of 24/7 Import Export (Europe) Ltd, which was registered to Smith.

The prosecutor, questioning why there were allegedly no refrigeration units at the premises, added: “If you are importing pineapples to sell on and you have to leave them in units in the summer, you are not going to have many left to sell on to the public.

“The prosecution says that company and premises were set up for one reason. Not for importing pineapples but the main reason was to get cocaine into the country.

“The premises are a front for the importation of cocaine.”

Mr Holborn said the vehicles of both Colverson and Smith were found parked next to each other at a nearby unit, both with their ignition keys easily accessible.

He added: “Why did they choose to park where they did and why did they leave their keys on the windscreen?”

The trial continues.

Other news

56 minutes ago
The Thetford Players' production of Lionel Bart's Oliver! at the Carnegie Room. Pictures by Maria Cooke.

An amateur dramatics group is celebrating the unprecedented success of its first full length musical production.

12:58
Police believe the two suspects may have been working as part of a larger team. Picture: Ian Burt

A private church service at RAF Marham has been postponed following a week of drama.

Poppy Mai FC, pictured in their kit, played a match against Thetford Town FC in aid of the Poppy's Field fund, set up for terminally ill toddler Poppy-Mai Barnard who died in May. Courtesy of Dave Evans.

A football team dedicated to Poppy-Mai Barnard has its sights on the big leagues after playing its first match in aid of a charity set up for the toddler.

The Thetford Young Business Group's summer social event at the Charles Burrell Centre. Mayor of Thetford Terry Jermy, Mayor's Consort Corinne Fulford, town councillor Denis Crawford and centre manager Mark Snowdon with young businesspeople and students from Thetford Academy.

A community hub which came out its first year with a financial surplus has celebrated its achievement with residents and tenants at its first AGM.

Most Read

Poppy Mai FC, pictured in their kit, played a match against Thetford Town FC in aid of the Poppy's Field fund, set up for terminally ill toddler Poppy-Mai Barnard who died in May. Courtesy of Dave Evans.

A football team dedicated to Poppy-Mai Barnard has its sights on the big leagues after playing its first match in aid of a charity set up for the toddler.

Read more
Thetford
Yesterday, 08:00
Des Reynolds, CEO of Engage Trust. Picture: SUBMITTED

Managers of a struggling free school for challenging pupils have been told by inspectors it is unlikely to be lifted out of special measures by next year without “further prompt action to secure better behaviour”.

Read more
Thetford
12:58
Police believe the two suspects may have been working as part of a larger team. Picture: Ian Burt

A private church service at RAF Marham has been postponed following a week of drama.

Read more
King's Lynn
The Thetford Young Business Group's summer social event at the Charles Burrell Centre. Mayor of Thetford Terry Jermy, Mayor's Consort Corinne Fulford, town councillor Denis Crawford and centre manager Mark Snowdon with young businesspeople and students from Thetford Academy.

A community hub which came out its first year with a financial surplus has celebrated its achievement with residents and tenants at its first AGM.

Read more
Charles Burrell Centre
Yesterday, 07:52
Malcolm Quantrill and Colin Rands are cycling 150 miles from Mundford to Manchester in aid of St Nicholas Hospice Care.

A charity cycle ride will be a memorable journey for one fundraiser as he pedals across the country in memory of his wife.

Read more
Thetford

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 25°C

min temp: 19°C

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Thetford and Brandon e-edition today E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up