Thursday, 11 September 2008

Movers International Europe duped into drug running

09:52 |

Simon Ashworth, operations manager at Movers International Europe, a household removals firm, said his staff in Spain were stunned when they discovered the drugs hidden in pieces of furniture the firm was due to transport to a depot at at Longridge Road, Red Scar.The staff immediately reported the find, in June 2006, to the Guardia Civil in Alicante who mounted a joint operation with the county's Serious and Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) to track the load.It was discovered the haul had come from a sophisticated drugs network in Spain.Mr Ashworth, 38, said: "We undertook the job believing it to be furniture from a warehouse in Alicante.
"But when a man delivered the goods to our base in Alicante we were suspicious at how quickly he wanted to get away. "They were heavy, awkward pieces of furniture and something didn't add up. The police were called and the furniture was sealed back up and packed back in its bubble wrap and sent on its way as arranged so the officers could see where it ended up. At this end I helped a courier who had been sent by the person who was supposed to receive the furniture to load it into his van.
"The police struck later when it arrived at Merseyside."A SOCU officer, who cannot be named, said: "We would have been looking at roughly up to £250,000 street value."

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