A GRAYS man has been sentenced as part of a gang, jailed for 77 years for smuggling Â£11million of cocaine into the UK with the help of corrupt British Airways workers.
Savdeep Atkar, 33, of Grays, Essex was sentenced to 21 years for importing cocaine.
Stephen O’Meara, 31, formerly of Datchet, Buckinghamshire was today locked up for 13 years for conspiracy to supply cocaine in February and August 2013.
The drugs were transported in two loads and flown on British Airways flights to Heathrow Airport, Southwark Crown Court heard.
Police intercepted 40 kilos of cocaine
Together with 100 rounds of 9mm ammunition
In total, police intercepted 40 kilos of cocaine with purity levels of more than 90% and a street level value of Â£11 million, together with 100 rounds of 9mm ammunition.
Gang leader Harvinder Sanghera, 33, of Heston, Hounslow, London was caged for 30 years for importing cocaine and ammunition, while his ‘right hand man’
Former boxer and personal trainer O’Meara was handed a 13-year sentence, as was David Brown, 51, of Biggleswade, Bedfordshire for supplying cocaine.
Aktar was described as a man brought up by a ‘hard-working’ and ‘god-fearing’ family.
Judge Robbins said he agreed that the two disrupted importations were indicative of a much larger operation.
He added that Sanghera was ‘closely associated’ with the producers of the drug in Mexico, and had made numerous trips to North America to meet them.
Judge Robbins described Atkar as Sanghera’s ‘right-hand man’ and ‘lieutenant,’ who had encouraged British Airways employees to abuse their positions of trust.