Drug dealers tried to smuggle £250,000 of cocaine in baked bean tins

Two smugglers trying to sneak into the UK have been jailed with Caribbean drugs hidden in cans of baked beans and coconut milk.

Daniel Kelly and Stephen Gillhole, both 43, used canned goods to attempt to ship 2.74kg of cocaine worth more than £250,000.

Snarsbook Crown Court heard that on 20 and 24 December 2018, customs officials confiscated two parcels sent from St Lucia destined for addresses in Charlton and Greenwich in southeast London.

When they were examined by forensic medicine, it was discovered that inside the first parcel was 1.95 kg of cocaine and in the second parcel 792 grams of cocaine.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) and the Met had already investigated Kelly and Gilhooly and discovered they had purchased an empty tin can packaging machine in order to re-seal tin cans.

They also purchased a series of spices and other goods that would be sold in Saint Lucia.

(Capital Police)

Four days before the first package arrived in the capital, Kelly and Gilhuly flew from Gatwick to St. Lucia, where they informed officials that they had arrived for vacation, and border authorities recorded that they had the cans sealed in their baggage.

Officers later discover that two packages of cocaine were sent from a post office in St. Lucian by Kelly, who used a fake driver’s license with his photo but fake personal details as identification.

Kelly was sentenced to six and a half years in prison on Wednesday, while Gilhuly was jailed for eight and a half years for importing Class A drugs into the UK.

Detective Matthew Webb, of the Dead Police crime team, said: “This should send a clear and strong message to those intending to breach our borders that crimes of this nature are taken very seriously and we will spare no effort in bringing them to justice.

(Capital Police)

“The two men traveled to St Lucia for the sole purpose of importing first-class medicines into the UK.

“The miserable impact that the drug supply has on our communities is undeniable and closely linked to violence within our communities.

“Both men were willing to take such a risk with this offender – believing they were outside the law and hoping for a profit.

Instead, they now face heavy prison sentences. I hope this will give them the opportunity to reflect on their behavior and prove that crime does not reward.”

Additional reporting by SWNS

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