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

Tommy Georgious's Thetford home was burgled in May and he's still waiting for insurance money to pay.
Picture by: Sonya Duncan

A man who claims he had £15,000 of damage done to his home after a burglary has staged a one man protest against a building society he says has let him down.

11:35
Dead fish at Acle Dyke. Picture: Supplied

Environment experts will survey the region’s waterways in the coming weeks to gauge what damage the recent storms caused.

Yesterday, 15:57
The official opening of Great Yarmouth Primary Academy - one of the Inspiration Trust schools at the centre of the allegations. (L TO R) Rachel De Souza, Bill Holledge - Headteacher, Dr Liz Sidwell  - Schools Commissioner and Theodoe Agnew - Academy Sponsor.   Picture: James Bass

Ofsted has announced an independent review of its investigation into claims that three Norfolk schools connected to Dame Rachel de Souza received advance notice of up-coming inspections.

Yesterday, 15:54
Chris Ball, pharmacist at Hurn Chemist in Norwich, who is part of a new campaign urging patients to cut down on wasted medicines. Picture: Supplied

Patients have been urged to help save the NHS millions of pounds after it emerged that almost £5m was being lost every year in Norfolk through unused prescription medicines.

Most read

Tommy Georgious's Thetford home was burgled in May and he's still waiting for insurance money to pay.
Picture by: Sonya Duncan

A man who claims he had £15,000 of damage done to his home after a burglary has staged a one man protest against a building society he says has let him down.

Read more
Thu, 17:19
Three arrested on alleged drugs offences in Thetford.

Three men have been arrested on drugs charges after a stop and search in Thetford.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:10
Jamie and Michelle Mintram, along with their children Josh and Chloe share their Weeting home and garden with 145 pets and rescue animals.Picture by: Sonya Duncan

It is your average three-bed family home, lived in by a husband, wife and two children.

Read more
11:35
Dead fish at Acle Dyke. Picture: Supplied

Environment experts will survey the region’s waterways in the coming weeks to gauge what damage the recent storms caused.

Read more
Thu, 15:26
Claire Scarff. Submitted picture

The only playgroup in Feltwell, near Thetford, is aiming for a good judgment in its next Ofsted inspection, after being told it requires improvement.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 10°C

Digital Edition

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