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  • Man jailed for role in £3m drug smuggling plot ordered to hand over £80,000 in cash

    Tom Martin

    A MAN from Crosby involved in a £3million drugs smuggling plot has been ordered to hand over more than £80,000 cash.

    Wayne Sudbury, 41, was one of three men jailed in January after the gang was found with 30 kilos of cocaine, 45 kilos of cannabis, 15 kilos of MDMA and two kilos of ketamine destined for Dublin.

    Sudbury, of Endsleigh Road, Crosby, who was sentenced to ten years eight months, was warned on Friday, July 12 that he will face an extra two years behind bars if he does not hand over £81,240, ruled to be the proceeds of crime, within the next three months.

    Liverpool Crown Court heard that the benefit figure attributed to 41-year-old Sudbury is £1.2million.

    The father-of-two was found to have £3,740 cash hidden in a cupboard at his home after his arrest on June 4 last year and Judge Garrett Byrne heard today he has 50% equity in his matrimonial home, bringing the total available for seizure to £81,240.

    At his sentencing hearing the court heard that police officers watched as Sudbury drove to an industrial estate in Queensferry, Deeside, and met up with HGV lorry driver Christopher Rigg.

    Sudbury was seen handing two large boxes to Rigg, who then drove to Holyhead port in Anglesey. As Rigg, 52, attempted to catch a ferry to Dublin, he was stopped by Border Force officers.

    A search of the trailer uncovered the two boxes, which contained 26 kilos of cocaine, and Rigg was later arrested. Meanwhile, Sudbury stayed at the industrial estate where he met with Artur Jaku-Graham and handed him a bag containing a further four kilos of cocaine.

    After Sudbury drove off, Jaku-Graham, 32, of no fixed address, was stopped by police officers and the cocaine was found.

    Meanwhile Sudbury drove back to Merseyside and was arrested at his home. A search uncovered 45 kilos of cannabis, 15 kilos of MDMA, nearly two kilos of ketamine and two kilos of cutting agent hidden in a loft bedroom.

    His barrister, Phil Astbury today argued that he had just been a warehouseman for the drugs instructed by others. He had been desperate for cash at the time and got involved after “ad hoc” arrangements had been made in a pub.

    But Anya Horwood, prosecuting, described that account as “fanciful.”

    She said he must have been a trusted member of the criminal gang and had acted as quartermaster and had distributed a variety of drugs.

    Rigg, of no fixed address, is serving ten years ten months and Jaku-Graham received six years. Rigg has already been ordered to hand over £1,323 cash after benefitting by £806,000 or face five months extra in prison and the financial proceedings against Jaku-Graham were dropped.

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