Search

Havering men jailed for part in plot to import cocaine in containers of exotic fruit

PUBLISHED: 13:33 02 September 2014 | UPDATED: 13:33 02 September 2014

David Roberts, 61, of Romford (left) and Roy Godber, 64, of Wennington Road, Rainham (right).

David Roberts, 61, of Romford (left) and Roy Godber, 64, of Wennington Road, Rainham (right).

Police

Two Havering men, who were members of a team that tried to bring 26 kilos of cocaine into the UK concealed in a containers of exotic fruit, are serving 20-year prison sentences.

Roy Godber, 64, of Wennington Road, Rainham, and David Roberts, 61, of Romford, absconded during their trial in September 2011 and were convicted in absence to spend 20-years in prison. After a year-long hunt investigators tracked the pair to Malta and they were extradited in 2013 after serving a sentence for possession of false passports.

Reporting restrictions on a four-year investigation that saw members of two organised crime groups, including Godber and Roberts, jailed for more than 148 years have been lifted after the final member was jailed.

The two groups had tried to use corrupt shipping company manager Shaun Wilson, 46, of Madeira Road, Portsmouth, to import cocaine through Portsmouth Docks.

The National Crime Agency observed the two groups as they met separately with Wilson to plan the imports.

Each shipment was timed to coincide with Wilson’s shifts so he could remove the drugs from the docks without detection.

Neither group achieved their aim. The first, of which Godber and Roberts were members with an organisational role, was foiled after a container containing pineapples shipped from Costa Rica was seized in November 2010 and found to contain 26 kilos of the class A drug, cocaine, with an estimated street value of up to £3million.

The capture of Wilson during the operation prevented the second group from succeeding with their plan to import cocaine hidden in a container of bananas.

Wilson was found guilty of one charge of conspiracy of import cocaine in September 2011 and jailed for 14 years. He pleaded guilty to the second conspiracy in March 2013 and received a concurrent eight-year sentence.

The remaining seven men were from London, Kent and Portsmouth.

Gerry McGowan, National Crime Agency operations manager, said: “The long term plan was to import vast quantities of cocaine on a regular basis.

“Protecting our boundaries is a priority for the NCA. We will be relentless in pursuing criminals who try to bring drugs into the country, however long it takes and wherever they try to hide.”

Two further men from Rainham were arrested as part of the wider investigation after a car with £300,000 concealed in a purpose built compartment underneath the boot was seized. The men were later convicted of money laundering offences.

Related links

Drugs and cash seized during police raid on home in Straight Road, Harold Hill

Romford man charged with possession of drugs, ‘dangerous driving’, and possession of blades

Latest Romford News Stories

A man has been jailed for five years for his part in a late night crime spree that began when two cars were stolen in Harold Hill in June.

The proposal for Havering to leave London will be discussed at tonight’s council meeting.

A public consultation has launched asking for residents’ views on closing roads around some of the borough’s most notorious fly-tipping hot spots.

Jury deliberations began today in the murder trial of much-loved club doorman Ricky Hayden.

Elderly homeowners are being prevented from selling up and downsizing because of delays to bridge replacement works.

A community chairman has taken another step forward in his campaign to prevent a post office from being closed.

Are you struggling to think of ideas to keep your little ones entertained over the summer holidays?

Moped gangs have been terrorising residents for months, causing people to be scared to walk down the street. Hayley Anderson was invited to shadow officers, and find out what action was being taken.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now