Details of how Birmingham men used Christian group to smuggle cannabis – investigators

Details of how Birmingham men used Christian group to smuggle cannabis - investigators

A gang used a Christian organisation as a front to import 400kg (881lbs) of cannabis into the UK, the National Crime Agency (NCA) has said.

Three loads of the drug were shipped in tins of Calaloo, a Jamaican green vegetable, and Akee fruit by Dalton Anderson, Sinclair Tucker, and Alvin Russell.

Details of how Birmingham men used Christian group to smuggle cannabis - investigators

Arriving at Birmingham Airport from Jamaica, all were addressed to Vision Christian Ministries, according to the NCA.

The Midlands men were found guilty of importing the class B drug.

The NCA stated that the consignments, which were sent between March and May of 2017, had a street value of around £2 million.

Anderson, 50, and Tucker, 64, both of Groveland Road, Tipton, and Russell, 45, of Wood Lane, West Bromwich, were arrested at the airport on 23 May of that year, while inspecting the third consignment which had just arrived.

According to investigators, the trio organized the imports and picked up the drugs at the airport.

Anderson and Russell also spent time in Jamaica during the importations, handling money and providing shipping documentation to Vision Christian Ministries (VCM) through Tucker.

Details of how Birmingham men used Christian group to smuggle cannabis - investigators

The men all denied conspiring to import a class B drug, but were convicted on Tuesday and Wednesday at Birmingham Crown Court.

Anderson was also found guilty of possession with intent to supply class B drugs after investigators discovered 5kg (11lbs) of cannabis at his home after his arrest.

“Anderson, Tucker, and Russell cynically used a Christian ministry as a smokescreen to import huge quantities of cannabis into the UK,” said NCA operations manager Rick Mackenzie.

“They wrongly believed that this would put them beyond the reach of the National Crime Agency and our law enforcement partners.”

Details of how Birmingham men used Christian group to smuggle cannabis - investigators

Paul Harper, assistant director of Inland Border Command for Border Force, said: “This was outstanding work to stop £2m worth of drugs reaching Britain’s streets and causing further harm to our communities.”

The men are due to be sentenced at the same court on 27 January.

source:nsemwokrom.com

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