Three men admit smuggling £5.5m of cocaine in with yoghurt and orange juice

161221 Cocaine trio
Pictured from left to right is Moynul Hoque, Usman Iqbal and Joseph Gray. Credit: National Crime Agency

Three men have admitted to trying to smuggle £5.5 million worth of cocaine from the UK to Ireland after 69 kilos of the drug were found hidden among pallets of yoghurt and orange juice in a lorry at Holyhead.

Lorry driver Joseph Gray, 52, was stopped at the port of Holyhead, Anglesey, in October last year.

Inside his vehicle were pallets of yoghurt and orange juice but hidden among them were 69 kilos of cocaine in one kilo blocks.

Gray, of Draperstown, Northern Ireland, had collected the Class A drugs the day before from conspirators Moynul Hoque, 31, of Clapton, London, and Usman Iqbal, 35, of Grays, Essex.

The pair had driven to Thornbury near Bristol where they met Gray and handed over the drugs.

Phone evidence linked all three men to the area at that time.

The cocaine was stashed amongst pallets of yogurt and orange juice. Credit: National Crime Agency

Gray was arrested on October 9 as he was about to travel to Dublin. Hoque and Iqbal were arrested together on December 12 at the UK custom controls at the Channel Tunnel in Coquelles, France, as they were travelling in a Belgian-registered BMW.

At Caernarfon crown court the trio admitted exporting Class A drugs.

They will be sentenced in March.

National Crime Agency senior investigating officer 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.

“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.”