Trio admit trying to smuggle £5.5m worth of cocaine from Britain to Ireland

Trio admit trying to smuggle £5.5m worth of cocaine from Britain to Ireland

THREE men have admitted conspiring to smuggle £5.5m worth of cocaine from Britain to Ireland.

The massive stash was found on October 9, 2020 in the back of a lorry, concealed among pallets of yoghurt and orange juice.

At Caernarfon Crown Court on Wednesday, Joseph Gray, 52, of Draperstown, Co. Derry and co-conspirators Moynul Hoque, 31, of Clapton, London and Usman Iqbal, 35, of Grays, Essex, admitted exporting Class A drugs.


On October 8, 2020, Hoque and Iqbal travelled to Thornbury, near Bristol, where they met Gray and handed over the drugs.

The following day, Gray was arrested as he was about to travel to Dublin.

A search of his lorry uncovered 69 kilos of cocaine divided into one-kilo blocks.

Hoque and Iqbal were arrested together on December 12 at the UK custom controls at the Channel Tunnel in Coquelles, France.

The two men were travelling in a Belgian-registered BMW.

Telecommunications and telematics evidence linked all three men to the Thornbury area where the exchange had taken place.


"These drugs would have put vast sums of money back into the hands of criminals who would have reinvested it into more offending," said NCA senior investigating officer Callum Gracey.

"Class A drugs are at the centre of violence and misery which blight some of our communities.

"The NCA works closely with partners at home and abroad to fight the Class A drugs threat and to protect the public from the harm drugs cause."

Gray, Hoque and Iqbal are due to be sentenced on March 4, 2022.