Home UK News Six men jailed for smuggling £44 million worth of MDMA

Six men jailed for smuggling £44 million worth of MDMA

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Six jailed after £44m of drugs found hidden in excavator

Danny Brown, 55, Stefan Baldauf, 62, Tony Borg, 45, Peter Murray, 59, Philip Lawson, 61, and Leon Reilly, 50, were convicted last week at Kingston-upon-Thames Crown Court for their roles in a plot to smuggle over half a tonne of MDMA into Australia under the arm of an excavator machine.

Brown and Baldauf oversaw the effort to export a significant amount of Class A restricted substances concealed in the lead-lined arm of an excavator between June 2019 and June 2020. The narcotics had a street worth of £44 million. The conspirators in the United Kingdom arranged for the shipment and auction sale of the excavator to the ultimate purchasers of the drugs in Australia. The gang used encrypted Encrochat mobile phones to further their crime.

Borg welcomed the excavator’s delivery at a warehouse in Grays, Essex. Murray then took the drugs to the same warehouse, where Lawson subsequently cut apart the excavator’s arm and hid 210 bags of MDMA within. After the excavator’s arm was sealed, the machine was hauled to Southampton Docks and delivered to Australia. Unbeknownst to the crew, Australian customs officials had discovered the drugs, removed them from the excavator, and returned the machine to the manufacturer.

Reilly sent Brown and Baldauf multiple encrypted Encrochat communications to keep them updated on the machine’s progress and passage into Australia. Lawson then provided a comprehensive diagram of where the MDMA was hidden and the tools required to obtain the drugs.

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