Eastern European men jailed for 20 years in UK after being arrested with drugs worth £2.7 million
Two men from Eastern Europe have bene jailed for a total of 20 years by a UK court after they were caught by police in possession of drugs estimated to be worth £2.7 million ($3.32 million).
Serbian Aleksandar Uljaveric, 32, and Alexandru Mitu, 26, originally from Romania, were handed sentences of 12 years and eight years respectively at Kingston Crown Court on Friday after they pleaded guilty to drug trafficking offences at an earlier hearing.
The pair were arrested back in June when police watched them wheel a suitcase along a street and place it in the boot of Mitu’s car, which was parked in the Hammersmith area of London.
Investigators discovered the suitcase contained 22kgs of cocaine, and that Mitu’s car had a specially-constructed concealed compartment in which officers found traces of the drug.
A later search of Uljaveric’s home resulted in the discovery of an additional 12kgs of cocaine, 1,900 ecstasy pills, 750 grams of MDMA powder, a quantity of ketamine and £12,000 in cash.
While being interviewed by police after his arrest, Mitu claimed he was a taxi driver and that Uljaveric was a passenger he had picked up before his arrest to take him to Luton Airport.
Police enquiries later revealed that Mitu was not a licensed taxi driver.
Speaking after sentencing, Matt McMillan, Operations Manager at the UK’s Organised Crime Partnership, commented: “Taking nearly £3 million of cocaine and £12,000 in cash from Mitu and Uljaveric has not only disrupted this organised crime group, it’s damaged their reputation among other criminals.
“The trafficking of drugs is a major source of revenue for organised crime groups many of whom are involved in other criminal activities, such as human trafficking, money laundering, and illegal firearms.
“People may see drugs as a victimless crime – the number of drugs seized and people arrested does not by itself capture the harm caused to those affected. In reality huge levels of violence and exploitation are present at every stage of drug trafficking, from production in source countries to retail level on the streets of the UK.
“These men didn’t care about the damage they are causing in communities and the children and vulnerable people exploited by County Lines drug dealing.”
At the end of last month, Britain’s National Crime Agency revealed that two Polish nationals had been jailed after they were found with 9kgs of MDMA worth hundreds of thousands of pounds.
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