Three men jailed for more than 20 years for supplying cocaine worth £6 million (€6.8 million).
Lazarus John Loizides, 27, from Essex was sentenced to 11 years’ imprisonment, Joe Sawyer, 26, of Redbridge, was given eight years and Robert Beckley, 31, from Kent, got four years and four months’ imprisonment.
Snaresbrook Crown Court heard the three men were seen transferring a blue holdall from a white van into a black vehicle driven by Beckley.
As he drove away from a meet with the other two defendants, he was followed by officers onto the M25 where he was stopped by marked cars.
The blue holdall was found in the passenger’s footwell, and inside officers found five kilos of cocaine.
A search of the white van driven by Loizides, who police had seen loading it with two large Sports Direct bags, uncovered a large quantity of cash and a ‘burner’ phone.
At his home, officers discovered 3kg of cocaine, cash totalling over £55,000, a number of expensive watches and a number of receipts for high-value purchases at Harrods.
Sawyer was arrested around 45 minutes after Loizides’ arrest on October 6, 2020.
Officers found the keys to the white van that Loizides had initially arrived in and opened it. Inside they found the two Sports Direct bags.
Inside one of the bags was 24 x 1kg bricks of cocaine. The second bag was now empty. Underneath the floor, in the rear, was a concealed hide which contained a further 17 x 1kg bricks of the drug.
Overall 41kg of cocaine was found in the rear of the white van, and in total, 49kg of cocaine was seized with an estimated street value of almost £6 million.
All three pleaded guilty with conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, while Loizides was further charged with possession of criminal property in relation to the cash seized.
Detective Chief Inspector Driss Hayoukane, from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command, said: “The lengths these men went to try and conceal their criminal activities by having secret hides in their cars is not something an everyday person would even think to consider – but then again most everyday person wouldn’t even consider transporting almost 50kg of cocaine in their vehicles.
“We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, we are committed to putting handcuffs on those involved in drugs supply offences and making sure that they spend a significant amount of time in prison.”
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