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.

shares

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.

shares

Other news

Yesterday, 15:46
Sir Michael Wilshaw, head of Ofsted, was today asked about the report into claims three Norfolk academies received advance notice of inspection dates. Photo: Bill Smith

An MP has described the deleted emails, inaccessible emails and missing minutes that “hampered” an investigation that cleared three Norfolk academies of receiving tip-offs about inspection dates as “an enormous amount of coincidence”.

Yesterday, 09:24
Former education secretary Michael Gove with Rachel de Souza.Photo: Steve Adams

An independent probe into allegations three Norfolk academies received advance notice of Ofsted inspection dates has found that “on the balance of probabilities” no one at the schools was unfairly tipped off.

Yesterday, 07:33
Thetford's Ancient House Museum. Picture: Denise Bradley

Plans to charge for entry to one of Thetford’s flagship museums have been called “extremely short-sighted” amid fears it will stop the less wealthy accessing the town’s heritage.

Yesterday, 06:30
The extension of the Better Broadband for Norfolk programme is welcomed at County Hall. From left, Karen O'Kane, the programme director; Marie Strong, Broadband Working Group chairman; George Nobbs, leader of the Norfolk County Council; Mark Pendlington, New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership chairman; and Bill Murphy, BT managing director for Next Generation. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

£17.9m extra funding will see 90% of properties in Norfolk get access to fibre-optic broadband.

Most Read

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A SWAFFHAM man whose determination and dedication has helped him overcome tragedy and improve his skills was on Friday rewarded for his efforts.

Chad Hogben was among six people and one business who came out on top in the first Big Skill Awards, at a ceremony in front of The Forum in Norwich.

Read more
Tue, 16:47
A former bomb storage unit used by RAF Mildenhall is bing sold. Picture by: Sonya Duncan

House hunters looking for a spacious country getaway with easy access to the A11, picturesque environs and explosives 
storage capabilities need look no further.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:46
Sir Michael Wilshaw, head of Ofsted, was today asked about the report into claims three Norfolk academies received advance notice of inspection dates. Photo: Bill Smith

An MP has described the deleted emails, inaccessible emails and missing minutes that “hampered” an investigation that cleared three Norfolk academies of receiving tip-offs about inspection dates as “an enormous amount of coincidence”.

Read more
Mon, 20:15
Smoke rises from a military base after a plane crash in Albacete, Spain, Monday, Jan. 26, 2015. Photo: AP/Josema Moreno

RAF Lakenheath has confirmed 48th Fighter Wing members suffered minor injuries and an aircraft is damaged after the Los Llanos crash that killed at least 10 people.

Read more
Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Motor-racing fans at the Snetterton circuit could have been exposed to potentially carcinogenic material if remedial work had not been taken to avert a public hazard, magistrates said yesterday.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 2°C

min temp: -0°C

Digital Edition

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