11 January 2011

Air conditioning units used for drug smuggling

TWO Britons and an Irish national have been arrested on the Costa Brava for allegedly smuggling millions of pounds worth of cannabis into the UK inside air conditioning units.
According to the website, Spanish police raided a warehouse in Las Atalayas, Alicante at the weekend. There they found half a ton of hashish with an estimated street value of £2.5m.

Reports in the Daily Telegraph say the men, who have not been named by police, are linked to another gang of Britons arrested last month after stealing more than a ton of cannabis worth an estimated £6m from Moroccan suppliers.

This is not the first time air conditioning units have been used in connection with drug smuggling. Early last year a Birmingham gang was jailed for a total of 16 and a half years for smuggling cannabis worth £270,000 into the UK hidden in air conditioning units. The arrests were made in 2009 when officers intercepted a consignment from the Netherlands.

The recovered drugs were concealed in specially constructed air conditioning unit access doors. Some 380 blocks weighing 94.8kg in total were recovered.

In 2007 30kg of heroin was found hidden in the pallets of two adiabatic air coolers at Birmingham airport. The coolers had been supplied by a Turkish firm and bound for a freight forwarding firm in the West Midlands.

Two men were subsequently jailed for a total of 43 years for smuggling offences after Police recovered eight further units that had come into the UK via the same route.

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