Orpington man guilty of importing millions of pounds worth of cocaine into UK

Michael Ebanks, of Sevenoaks Road, Orpington, has been jailed for 15 years

The cocaine was found in a lorry loaded with pallets headed for Michelin UK premises in East Sussex

The cocaine was found in a lorry loaded with pallets headed for Michelin UK premises in East Sussex

The cocaine was found in a lorry loaded with pallets headed for Michelin UK premises in East Sussex

First published in News
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News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , deputy news editor

An Orpington man involved in importing millions of pounds worth of cocaine into the UK has been jailed.

Michael Ebanks, 33, of Sevenoaks Road, was sentenced at Portsmouth Crown Court today (July 28) to 15 years in prison after being found guilty of conspiring to import cocaine.

On October 18, 2012, UK Border Agency officials intercepted a lorry and trailer arriving at Portsmouth International Port from Caen, France.

The lorry was loaded with pallets containing flat rubber strips to be delivered to Michelin UK at premises in East Sussex. The premises was rented out by Ebanks.

In three of the pallets, under layers of the rubber, a well had been formed, in which a number of packages were concealed.

The contents of the packages were tested and confirmed to contain cocaine.

A total of 52 packages of cocaine were retrieved from the pallets, weighing in excess of 52 kilograms.

The estimated street value was between £4.8 million and £10.4m.

Ebanks was also found to have a false passport and a wash-bag containing class C drug TFMPP, cannabis resin and herbal cannabis.

Another man, Mark West, 36, from Purley, pleaded guilty to conspiring to import cocaine in November.

John Locke, senior prosecutor for the complex casework unit (CCU) of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), said: "We will now be looking at confiscating their ill-gotten assets.

"If these drugs had been in circulation in the streets, one can imagine the damage it would have created and the number of criminal activities it would have generated."

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