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Cannabis haulImage copyright
NCA

Image caption

The gang members were travelling between London and Manchester

Four men have been jailed for smuggling cannabis hidden in breadcrumb tins across the country.

Daniel Gore, 41, Javid Ahmed, 49, John Arnold, 56, and Scott Hoolighan, 36, were found with 242lb (110kg) of cannabis in a van while driving between London and Manchester.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) said the drugs were transported from Alicante, Spain, by a legitimate haulier before the gang collected them in west London.

The NCA believes two other men involved in the importation have fled to Spain.

Officers found the drugs in tins labelled “Panko” breadcrumbs on a flatbed van in February 2018.

Image copyright
NCA

Image caption

The drugs were brought over from Spain

Gore, of Prestwich, Greater Manchester, was jailed for five years on Thursday after admitting conspiring to import and supply class B drugs.

Hoolighan, of Whitefield, Manchester, was sentenced to three years and nine months for conspiring to supply class B drugs, while Arnold, also of Whitefield, and Ahmed, of Stockport, were each jailed for two years after they were found guilty of the same charge.

The NCA said the tins were collected in Northolt by the group, who swapped vans halfway through the journey and used encrypted mobile phones.

Investigators believe the two other men who fled were helped in the importation by an Albanian crime group based in Spain and are still at large.

Nigel Coles, operations manager for the NCA, said: “We have prevented the successful importation of a sizeable amount of cannabis, preventing those involved from selling in the UK, and ensuring they were brought to account.

“The profits made from illegal drugs are often reinvested into other forms of serious and organised crime, fuelling violence and exploitation.”

Image copyright
NCA

Image caption

The cannabis was hidden in breadcrumb tins

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