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Why UK court sentence 3 Nigerians to prison for drug, arms trafficking

L-R: Michael Mgbedike, Kennedy Udo and Emmanuel Okubote [Metropolitan Police]

For now, three Nigerians have been sentenced to prison by the Woolwich Crown Court in London for conspiracy to transport firearms and drugs into the United Kingdom (UK) via Eurotunnel.

During the ruling on Friday, May 17, 2019, 28-year-old Kennedy Udo was sentenced to eight years and six months in prison after the court found him guilty of conspiracy to supply drugs and being knowingly concerned in the fraudulent evasion of a prohibition on the importation of goods.

Michael Mgbedike, 22, was also found guilty of conspiracy to supply class A drugs and sentenced to eight years in prison.

27-year-old Emmanuel Okubote was sentenced to 23 years and five months last year after he was found guilty of conspiracy to supply firearms with intent to endanger life and conspiracy to possess ammunition with intent to endanger life.

He was also found guilty of conspiracy to supply class A drugs and possessing ammunition with intent to endanger life when he was sentenced on November 9, 2018.

According to the Metropolitan Police, the sentences handed down to the convicts follow a proactive operation by the Trident and Area Crime Command, working with Border Force.

“On 12 August 2017, two loaded firearms, ammunition and a sound moderator were recovered in Coquelles in France, in a car destined for Folkestone.

“The car was seized and subsequently 990 grams of high purity cocaine were recovered from inside the car’s roof cavity.

“Udo and Mgbedike were arrested at the scene and subsequently charged. An investigation was launched by the Trident and Area Crime Command and Okubote and a woman were arrested in the early hours of 13 August.

“They were charged with firearms offences in January 2018 when a loaded firearm was recovered from an address in Torcross Drive, Forest Hill.

“Okubote’s fingerprints were recovered from a carrier bag in which the firearm was held in and his DNA was recovered from two parts of the firearm.

“In addition, a firearm was recovered from a vehicle in North London where Okubote’s fingerprint was also found on the bag that contained the firearm,” Met Police reported.

Detectives established that the convicts made several trips to Amsterdam, via Eurotunnel, during the months of July and August 2017, with at least three importations of prohibited firearms and drugs believed to have taken place.

Okubote was also established to have been the mastermind of the conspiracy, using others with little or no previous criminal history to work for him.

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