Two men who were involved in the illegal importation of cocaine with a street value of up to £6million which was seized by police in Colchester have been given jail sentences totalling 31 years.
Before Ipswich Crown Court on Monday ( September 25) were Neranjan Persaud, 60, of London and Kryzstof Bakowski, 63, of no fixed address.
They denied being knowingly involved in the illegal importation of 50kg of cocaine on December 7 last year and being concerned in the supply of 50kg of cocaine on the same date.
Persaud also denied being concerned in the supply of just under one kilo of cocaine on November 30 last year.
They were unanimously convicted by a jury of all the offences after a trial.
Persaud, who was described as having a pivotal role in the operation, was jailed for 17 years and Batowski, who was described as a "courier", was jailed for 14 years.
The court heard that police saw Persaud park his car in Newcomen Way, Colchester at around 8am on December 7 last year and speak to Bakowski, who was the driver of an articulated lorry which had stopped nearby.
Persaud was then seen to carry five identical cardboard boxes to his car before police intervened and arrested him and Bakowski.
Persaud allegedly told police: “It’s all cocaine. I got told to collect it. I only got paid £250 a day to do this”.
He said the boxes of drugs contained 50 one kilo packages of high-quality cocaine with a wholesale value of £1.3 to £1.5 million.
He said the drugs, which had a dog's face and the word "Pitbull" on the packaging, had a potential street value of between £4 and £6 million.
Mr Hughes alleged that a week before his arrest in Colchester, Persaud had delivered a carrier bag containing one kilo of cocaine to a man in Letchworth.