Upper Clapton drug smuggler admits £5.5m cocaine conspiracy

Moynul Hoque is one of three men who have admitted trying to smuggle £5.5m worth of cocaine

Moynul Hoque is one of three men who have admitted trying to smuggle £5.5m worth of cocaine - Credit: National Crime Agency

A drug smuggler from Upper Clapton has admitted trying to ship £5.5m worth of cocaine from the UK to Ireland.

When officers stopped lorry driver Joseph Gray, 52, at the Welsh port of Holyhead on October 9 last year, they found 69 kilos of cocaine in his heavy goods vehicle. 

The drugs, which were stored in one kilo blocks, were hidden amongst pallets of yoghurt and orange juice.

The cocaine was stored in one kilo blocks and was hidden amongst pallets of yoghurt and orange juice

The cocaine was stored in one kilo blocks and was hidden amongst pallets of yoghurt and orange juice - Credit: National Crime Agency

Gray, of Draperstown in Northern Ireland, had collected the Class A drugs the day before in Thornbury - near Bristol - from conspirators Moynul Hoque, of Harry Zeital Way in Upper Clapton, and Usman Iqbal, of Grays in Essex.

James Joseph Gray is one of three men who have admitted trying to smuggle £5.5m worth of cocaine

James Joseph Gray is one of three men who have admitted trying to smuggle £5.5m worth of cocaine - Credit: National Crime Agency

Hoque and Iqbal - aged 31 and 35 respectively - were both arrested on December 12 at UK Channel Tunnel custom controls in France.

Usman Iqbqal is one of three men who have admitted trying to smuggle £5.5m worth of cocaine

Usman Iqbqal is one of three men who have admitted trying to smuggle £5.5m worth of cocaine - Credit: National Crime Agency

The trio admitted exporting Class A drugs at Caernarfon Crown Court yesterday (December 15).

They will be sentenced on March 4, 2022.

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National Crime Agency (NCA) investigator Callum Gracey said: "These drugs would have put vast sums of money back into the hands of criminals who would have reinvested it into more offending.

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

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