Search

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

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 News Stories

Havering is getting older

As new figures reveal the true scale of our ageing population, Emma Youle and Ralph Blackburn examine the data, and find out what it means for the future of our borough

12:00
Young woman stop to smoke while she is pregnant

Pregnant women have been urged not to play Russian roulette with the health of their unborn child – as new figures show Havering has the highest rate of smoking during pregnancy in London.

Traffic queues at Queens hospital carpark

Wheelchair bound elderly woman chooses not to attend due to the stress of finding a parking spot.

Yesterday, 19:00
myplace

Young people’s issues were at the forefront of a lively election hustings last night.

Most read news

News from your area

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

Competitions

Spruce up for spring with this beauty bundle from Justmylook!

Looking to update your look for spring? Well, you’re in luck.

Glen Moray whiskey could be winging its way to you.

The Glen Moray Classic is a classic Speyside single malt and forms the starting point for the Classic Range.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder