Man from Bradford jailed over £5m cooking oil drug plot
A man from Bradford is among five sentenced for being involved in selling drugs under the guise of a cooking oil sales business.
The group brought the drugs – including cocaine, skunk cannabis and cannabis resin – into the country through ports in Kent, and would meet up with customers in carparks in the Ashford area.
They were caught following a surveillance operation by the National Crime Agency and Metropolitan Police’s joint Organised Crime Partnership (OCP).
Officers intercepted three vans near an industrial unit within the Willesborough Road Industrial Estate, Kent, in November 2014.
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Searches of the vans and the unit resulted in the recovery of approximately half a tonne of herbal cannabis and cannabis resin as well as five kilos of cocaine.
All had been hidden in pallets of cooking oil and if cut and sold on the streets, could have had a likely potential street value of over £5m.
Judge HO Blacksell at Blackfriars Crown Court described the conspiracy as “organised” and “sophisticated”.
Two of the six men arrested, Freddie Koen, 49, from Rotterdam, and Danny Filius, 45, from Hoogvliet, were charged with conspiracies to supply cocaine and cannabis.
The other four, Colin Marks, 48, of Brompton Road, Manchester; Shakeel Quyam, 29, of Cark Road, Bradford; Chris Gilder, 34, of Almorah Road, Islington; and Grant Langley, 23, of Victoria Avenue, Uxbridge, were charged with conspiracy to supply cannabis.
All six men pleaded guilty to their charges at Blackfriars Crown Court on 13 May, while Langley will be sentenced on 29 May.
Vince Philpott, from the OCP, said: “The group went as far as setting up a fake website to try and provide a cover-up for their illegal activity. They were a sophisticated group who thought they could operate above the law, but they were well and truly caught out.
“The National Crime Agency and the Metropolitan Police will continue to intercept drug shipments to keep our towns and cities safe.”